With millions of dollars already invested in the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) to purchase equipment and pipes – and with the attendant loans to repay – more money is being pumped into the Authority so that it can comprehensively deal with the water woes.
During its sitting on Wednesday, February 1, the Cabinet reportedly voted to provide the utilities company with $100,000 to purchase some needed supplies, especially pipes.
Cabinet Notes claim that newly appointed Minister of Public Utilities Melford Nicholas provided a detailed review of the water supply challenges, which, he says, are actively being addressed.
Reportedly, the Fort James Reverse Osmosis (RO) Plant is moving to produce an additional 500,000 gallons, for a total of one million gallons daily.
Persons living in communities fed by this plant have complained they are still on a water-rationing schedule and not receiving the commodity 24 hours a day, while others say they are still not receiving a daily supply.
Meanwhile, Nicholas acknowledges that homes on higher elevations will continue to experience difficulties at times, until several pumps and pressure stations are added at different locations.
He says the pump in Liberta will be placed in the vicinity of the Church of Christ to facilitate the supply of water to the elevated areas of Evergreen Tree Road, Mount William and the surrounding communities.
Another pump, he says, will be located in Falmouth and will benefit residents in the Falmouth, Pattersons and Horsford Hill areas.
The portfolio of public utilities was removed from Sir Robin Yearwood, who held it for decades.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne believes the water situation, which he promised to improve within 14 days of being elected nine years ago, was one of the issues that led to his Labour Party receiving fewer votes than the combined opposition forces and a one-seat majority in Parliament.
Apparently, he is hoping that Nicholas will be able to adequately address what Sir Robin was unable to do for over eight years.