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Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, has expressed his frustration regarding the ongoing water crisis in the country, saying that despite the government investing over one hundred million dollars over the last few years to tackle the chronic water problem, the situation remains unresolved.
During the weekly Browne and Browne Show on Point FM, the Prime Minister spoke about the government’s efforts to improve the situation.
He expects improvements to happen during the coming year, with an additional reverse osmosis plant set to become operational by the second half of 2024, producing three million gallons of water daily.
Additionally, the re-piping process is underway to address the 20 percent water loss due to leaks from aging pipes.
The Prime Minister also revealed that the government has decided to privatize a part of the water product.
The Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) has been requested to consider two options – one from the local company, Caribbean Water Treatment, and the other from a Trinidad and Tobago-based concern.
Despite the millions spent on improving water production and distribution, consumers across Antigua continue to voice their complaints about the lack of water.
The Prime Minister also expressed his frustration with the management of the Water Division at APUA.
He said he cannot understand why some people have been without water for weeks at a time, despite more than seven million gallons being produced daily, with a daily demand of around nine million.
The Prime Minister described the water issue as the most critical challenge facing his government, as it is the one issue that they have not been able to resolve to the consumer’s satisfaction.