The need for a reliable water supply cannot be overstated. That’s why it’s refreshing to see our Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Opposition Leader Jqamal Pringle setting aside their political differences to work together towards solving the water issue in Antigua and Barbuda.
By joining forces, they demonstrate the leadership our country needs to tackle this pressing issue.
Let’s hope this spirit of cooperation continues to inspire progress for the good of all residents.
Yesterday, during the parliamentary sessions, both the Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, and the Leader of the Opposition, Jamale Pringle, delivered passionate speeches calling on their opposing parties to work together to address the longstanding issue of water production and distribution in Antigua and Barbuda.
This has been a political issue, with both parties blaming each other for not doing enough to tackle it.
The matter was brought up during a debate on an amendment to a resolution passed in September 2020, where the government took on a financial liability of approximately EC $169 million to facilitate the improvement of the island’s utility infrastructure by the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA).
Pringle pointed out that while the amendment to the resolution was not controversial, the broader debate remained over the issue of inadequate water services.
He suggested creating an agency dedicated to water production and leaving APUA to manage water distribution.
The Opposition Leader called for a bipartisan approach to come up with the best solution, stating that hotels might invest in a fund to maintain a reverse osmosis plant instead of installing their own.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister agreed with the Opposition Leader that there was a significant problem in water distribution but also noted that indiscriminate use of water was an issue.
He argued that water’s low pricing resulted in people using it carelessly, making it a moving target.
He called for appropriate pricing to address the issue and suggested raising water prices.