Crisis in the Making: Water Woes Continue
I do share your concerns about the quality of general management and strategic planning in both the Public and Private sectors. It calls for more thinking and insightful use of information. Too many employees find this hard to do. Independence implies taking responsibility. No one wants to do that, because of fear of failure. Why is that so?
It continues to be a puzzlement for the blogmaster why the former government constructed a headquarters for a reported 50 million dollars give a take a few million. A commonsense perspective would have been to appreciate that with 100 year old mains a part of the distribution network, better use of scarce resources would have been to aggressively implement the pipe replacement project. Instead the country had to endure the embarrassment of Barbados Water Authority (BWA) and Barbados Workers Union (BWU) locked in negotiations about this that and the other for months.
Those of us who have been around town long enough are aware that capital works projects create the opportunity for friends to share in the fatted calf. Many blogs have been posted about the mismanagement and lack of strategic thinking at the BWA AND other state owned entities. However, when all is said and done fingers point back to the governments of the day.
The issuance of a prohibition notice by the BWA caught our eye this week. It is no secret Barbados is categorized as a water scarce country. It is also no secret Barbados has been experiencing drought conditions in recent months. It was therefore a shocker to listen to members of the general public and others in civil society questioning why the BWA had not issue a prohibition order earlier to encourage efficient water usage. It appears to the uninformed that public cries to prohibit the use of water for non critical activities galvanized the BWA into action.
If water is a precious water resource should decision-making by key stakeholders not reflect it?
The public is being told one of the measures being pursued to ensure adequate supply of water is to boost production at Ionics desalination plant. The blogmaster recalls the Auditor General in a special audit of the BWA noted that in the Ionics agreement with the government of Barbados had committed to pay Ionics a guaranteed amount whether the BWA had the capacity to receive the amount or not? It was also noted that BWA did not have the capacity to receive water paid for at the time.
Here are relevant blogs to serve as a refresher:
Another bit of information which caught the ear of the blogmaster from the mouth of the prime minister last week is that she wants the BWA to penetrate the lucrative bottle water market in order to sustain its revenue base. We will park this for now.
Every year do we have to listen to rehashed excuses from the authorities? The rain is not falling to replenish the reservoirs, Old pipes are springing links and posing a challenge to be repaired, pipes in certain areas need flushing because of old pipes etc etc etc. We need to construct desalination plants.
Water warriors please fall in for another tour of duty!