Residents shoot down Yearwood’s claim of enough pipe-borne water for daily showers and UPP refutes ‘lies’ about its record

Many residents are expressing anger and disgust with Sir Robin Yearwood, the Minister responsible for the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA), for comments he made about the current availability of water.

During the Budget Debate on Monday, September 14, Sir Robin told the Lower House that there is enough water for every resident Antiguan to have one shower a day – a remark that is being contradicted throughout the country.

While in opposition, Yearwood had promised that the Labour Party, once elected, would have water running through the pipes within 14 days.

Now, many residents say that 14 days have become eight long years, with the water situation getting worse and some homes not receiving the precious commodity for days on end.

While Yearwood continues to brag that APUA is producing more water than its predecessor – through the process of reverse osmosis – a resident complains that the water woes are worse.  Therefore, she says, the Ministers should stop making this boast since this makes them look like fools.

Further, Yearwood is accusing the United Progressive Party (UPP) of not spending any money to improve the situation and of saying that persons could shower once per week – an allegation that the Party strongly denies. 

The UPP points out that it installed three reverse osmosis plants on Antigua during its tenure – at Camp Blizzard, Friars Beach, and Pigeon Point Beach – and one on Barbuda, all funded through the cooperation of the Government of Venezuela.

It was only last week in Parliament that Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle referred to several water-storage tanks erected by the UPP, but which the Browne Administration has refused to commission up to now.  Two stand unused in Patterson’s and Buckleys, he pointed out.

Meanwhile, in reference to Yearwood’s one-shower-a-day claim, an online commenter says that Antigua is the only place on earth where a politician can say things like this and get away with it.

Others commented that after being in public office for over 40 years, Sir Robin was rewarded with a knighthood for his incompetence.

For many years now, APUA has been unable to supply pipe-borne water 24 hours a day.  Many areas have been placed on a rationing schedule that, most of the time, is not followed, residents complain.