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Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (File photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Wastage of water at government facilities results primarily from negligence and tardy repairs, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said last week.

Garth Saunders, chief executive officer of the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA), said at a media briefing last week that much of the EC$4 million to EC$5 million worth of water used at state facilities is wasted.

Gonsalves, speaking at a separate press conference, said that his government has been trying to curtail the wastage of water “on an on-going basis”.

He used the example of school, noting that there are 26 secondary schools and 61 primary schools in addition to other educational institutions in this country.

“Wastage, as I understand it, comes from persons who are just negligent in keeping on taps. … And that’s easy to supervise. That before you lock up the school, you ensure that all the taps are off,” Gonsalves said.

He said the “greater problems” are the tardy repair or replacement of fixtures such as toilet fixtures and washers.

Gonsalves said that heads of school are to liaise with the Roads, Building and General Services Authority, through Ministry of Education, to get such repairs or replacement done quickly.

“Very often, it is just not timely repair, and it is something that we have to address in a more focussed way. There are structures and systems in place. But, at the end of the day, people have to do these jobs. I can’t sit down as prime minister to deal with a leaking tap or a leaking toilet inside of a school,” Gonsalves said.

“There are too many of these simple things which we need to look at,” he further stated.

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