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Minister: Boycott wet fetes to save water

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Partygoers are doused with water during the IUp 5th annual cooler-wet fete at Pier1 Chaguaramas last Sunday.

Partygoers who intend to go to wet fetes this Carnival season are asked to think twice before they do so, especially if they complain about the country’s poor water supply and delivery.

These were the words of Public Utilities Minister, Robert Le Hunte yesterday as he was addressing water conservation issues.

The Minister was speaking to reporters following the launch of a new mobile app implemented by the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) at the company’s St Joseph headquarters.

The new app, allows customers to pay their bills, report leaks and request truck-borne water. It will be ready for download on android phones and on iOS devices, by month’s end.

“Therefore, as you enjoy the Carnival season and engage in the water, let us remember that water comes from one source and as the saying goes ‘you cannot have your cake and eat it too’ or rather the local version of this adage ‘you cannot wet down and drink it too,’” he said.

He suggested that people boycott these wet fetes and instead be a part of the solution.

“WASA’s police have their part to play and can intervene but we must not lay blame or expectations on them and the fete promoters. We have to be part of the solution and not go to these events where water is wasted,” the minister said.

“We are about to embark upon the dry season. Water is a depleting resource and based upon international standards, we here in T&T use more than five times the water of our compatriots in other countries. Simply put, it is imperative if we want to see an improvement in the delivery of water to all, then we must change our consumption patterns,” he added.

The Rapid Response Programme, which is geared towards optimising WASA’s existing workforce for the purpose of fixing leaks quickly and efficiently, will operate in tandem with the app.

The Minister disclosed that as of Friday over 2,600 leaks throughout T&T have been identified.

In challenging WASA’s management to bring that number down, by 70 per cent, Le Hunte said that the number of leaks by year’s end would be reduced to 800.

“By doing so, we will also be able to reduce the amount of Non-Revenue Water in the system, thus ensuring that more water is available to consumers throughout the country,” he said.

In giving his own experience, Le Hunte said it is unacceptable for a large sector of the population not to receive a reliable water supply.

“Like you, it irks me when I see water being wasted on the roads. It gets me even more upset when I arrive at home and cannot get water from my tap. And I am triply upset when I realise that as a taxpayer, I contribute to the three-billion-dollar subvention that WASA receives annually, and yet there is a large percentage of the population that does not receive a reliable supply of water. That, to me, is totally unacceptable. And I am convinced that all Trinbagonians share the pain that I feel and that they are anxious to be part of the solution.”

The Ministry of Public Utilities will be joining the agencies—WASA and T&TEC by launching its own communications tool.


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