In ‘UPP Cog No. 2,’ Cabinet announces a water-tank assistance programme for the indigent – but funded by CHAPA

In what some residents are calling “a shameless cog” from the United Progressive Party (UPP), the Gaston Browne Administration is now moving to implement a water-tank assistance programme for vulnerable residents.

This is the second of the UPP’s initiatives to be copied by the Government in the last two weeks.

According to the Cabinet Notes published today, March 10, “the Cabinet has worked with CHAPA to import three hundred and twenty 500-gallon water tanks to assist indigent residents in areas adversely affected by water supply,” and adds that “connecting spouting is part of the mix.”

Exactly two weeks ago, at a public rally in Freetown, the Party’s Deputy Political Leader, Jamale Pringle, unveiled the UPP’s Water Tank and Equipment Relief (WATER) Programme, with Political Leader Harold Lovell later explaining the details to the media.

The UPP’s programme is valued at $5 million and would be administered through the Antigua & Barbuda Development Bank.  It is intended not only to assist low-income households with water storage, but small businesses and farmers, as well.

The Party said, too, that it would serve as a stimulus for tank suppliers and the plumbing and electrical technicians who took part in the non-discriminatory initiative.

The Cabinet has not released any details on how residents will qualify to receive the CHAPA-bought tanks.  However, some residents are already saying they expect the distribution to be political since this is another “election gimmick” of the Browne-led Antigua Labour Party.

Lovell noted, two days ago, that the Browne Administration is out of ideas and is looking to the UPP for innovation.

Accordingly, an employee of a government statutory body is imploring the Political Leader to announce a salary increase for her workplace, so that the Prime Minister can copy that, too, she says.

Last week, the ALP Administration adopted the UPP’s plan to make work permits transferable within a sector.