PM says APUA Water Division is biggest threat to his administration and is relieved that GM Martin is leaving

Prime Minister Gaston Browne says that his administration is
monitoring the Water Division of the Antigua Public Utilities
Authority (APUA) very closely and “if heads have to roll, heads will
roll, because we’ve had enough.”

However, he appears to be taking some comfort in the reported
departure of General Manager Elton Martin in about six weeks’ time.
Browne, speaking on radio this past weekend, said the water
situation has reached the stage where – if the crisis continues –
terminations at APUA could take place.

The prime minister had promised, in 2014, to improve the water
situation in 14 days. However, it has steadily worsened, despite the

addition of several new reverse-osmosis plants, and Browne admits
that his administration cannot give the people any more excuses.
He claims he had indicated to Melford Nicholas, the minister
responsible for APUA, to send Martin home
However, given Martin’s imminent voluntary departure, Browne
says there will be an interim appointment and then someone will be
placed permanently in the position.
Meanwhile, the prime minister says that several million gallons of
the commodity are being produced daily, but not all households are
able to get.

And what he finds curious, he says, is that there are times when
water is supplied consistently – and then there is a fall-off in the

Many communities have reported not receiving APUA water for
several weeks at a time. But Browne says he accepts that residents
cannot get water every day and around the clock, because in
wealthy “countries like California” they do not get water every day.
(California is actually an American state and not a country.)
However, he says the idea of communities being without water for a
whole week is madness.

Interestingly, Browne says that APUA’s inability to provide a reliable
supply of pipe-borne water is putting him and his ministers out of

According to him, if his and his Cabinet colleagues’ jobs are being
threatened, then why should the management of APUA still be

The prime minister adds that, during a recent retreat, he told
officials that one of the biggest threats to his administration is the
APUA Water Division Business Unit.
He states that, no matter how often the management and staff are
spoken to about solving the water-distribution problem, they are
unable to get it right. Therefore, a decision should be taken to tell
the team to pack up and go home, Browne says.
Accordingly, he is urging Water Manager Ian Lewis to get something
done immediately to address the water woes and prevent himself
from being removed.