Leader of the United Progressive Party Harold Lovell is accusing the government of playing the blame game where the issue of inadequate water supply in Antigua and Barbuda is concerned
The government has issued a stern warning to the water department of APUA, saying that they should either shape out of ship out.
Information Minister and Cabinet Spokesperson Melford Nicholas said, during the Post Cabinet Press Briefing that APUA would suffer the consequences if the water situation wasn’t addressed, saying too that he was sharing the government’s dissatisfaction despite its many efforts to increase water capacity across the island.
“The water problem cannot be solved the way it is currently being approached, by kneejerk reaction, by rushing to do things just because we are trying to win an election,” Lovell told Observer radio Friday.
He said the water problem will be solved by formulating a comprehensive plan and putting it together.
“It can be solved where we look at the production of water from different sources and we make sure that we have all of that properly lined up. The distribution system in terms of pipeline and other equipment you need and the storage component,” he said.
Adding, “we have not been approaching it that way. It’s being approached in an ad hock way and the present situation, it is being approached just to win an election. The bottom line is this administration has had 8 years to fix the water situation and they have failed”.
Jump high jump low, time is up, Lovell said, “since 2014 there was a promise the water problem would have been fixed and after eight years, they are trying to throw the management of APUA under the bus. The policymakers have failed,”
Lovell recalled that it “was in March I called out to the government that the Sembcorp plant which has a capacity of over 4 million gallons capacity per day which is what was being produced. They took the plant over and it came right down to 2 million gallons a day for lack of maintenance, parts, supply, and the government must take responsibility for that”
Just two months ago, an extra 500,000 gallons of potable water was added to the everyday supply of 7 million gallons following the commissioning of the new reverse osmosis plant at Fort James Beach.
In March of this year, the Ffryes Beach plant, supplying 400,000 gallons of water daily, came on stream, followed by the Fort James plant in September providing another 500,000 daily.
Another plant in Bethesda which will be supplying a further two million gallons daily, is also expected to be commissioned.
The issue of providing an adequate supply of water to consumers has been plaguing the nation for many years and did not begin during the reign of the sitting government.