By An Affected Citizen
Water – a basic necessity of life. A home water system – an essential utility.
The initiative to commercialise the resource and bring added comfort to homes, institutions and businesses via pipe-borne water has made the lives of consumers easier. Even getting a water connection is no longer an issue — have a plumber run the appropriate lines in the home or building, install taps and pipes, pay a connection fee, have a water meter installed, usage is monitored monthly and the relevant fees are paid – basic water charge, consumption charge and an environmental fee.
In the dry season, as it is now, the utility advises the public to be vigilant of water usage and informs them of rationed water supplies to conserve the tank levels. A schedule is typically released prior to periods of water shortage and information is given of the reasons for doing so — rationing, maintenance and line installations, cleaning and restoration of tanks, etc.. The information previously outlined and common courtesy are expected from the utility to provide to customers.
The CWSA has been in existence and operation since 1970. For 52 years, this statutory body has been providing commendable service to the citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but it appears as though the organisation has become complacent. The following questions support my position:
- Why is it that during this dry season, areas have been losing water for extended periods without any notice or substantial reason from the CWSA?
- Why have certain rural communities such as those within the Marriaqua district been without water for the past week without any indication of when the water will return?
- Why when calls are made to the utility, representatives never know what is going on and cannot provide helpful answers?
- Why when residents who conducted their own investigations of the Majorca system discovered that one of the recently constructed tanks was badly damaged and leaking water and inquired from the CWSA, representatives were shocked that they knew? Yet, the CWSA failed to inform persons publicly of this situation. Additionally, the tank was confirmed to have been in this condition for months and apart from continuous water shortages, no indication of work done to date was given, nor confirmation of when it will be fixed.
- Who are responsible for constructing these tanks? What is their level of technical experience and expertise for being hired to do the job?
- Why is the CWSA urging citizens to conserve water when they are guilty of secretly wasting this precious resource for months?
- How is it that during all this time, not even a water truck has been sent out to the affected areas to alleviate the stress of persons?
For an organisation that boasts years of excellent service, the manner in which this situation is being dealt with, is in poor taste and highly unprofessional. Having the monopoly of God-given resources in any jurisdiction does not permit the right to unwittingly exploit that resource. An apology for inconvenience is of no value to citizens who are being affected. Value your customers. Rectify the situation and redeem the utility.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].