UPP calls for Gov’t to consult with stakeholders on APUA water challenges and not unilaterally decide to outsource

The Leadership and Central Executive Committee of the United
Progressive Party (UPP) are calling for a halt to Prime Minister
Gaston Browne’s unilateral plans to outsource certain water
services, now provided by the Antigua Public Utilities Authority
(APUA), to a private company.

In a press statement issued this morning, the UPP says it is “appalled
that there has been no consultation with stakeholders ahead of a
decision that will impact water rates and possibly reduce, or
remove, access to potable water by the poor and the

The Party notes, too, that such access is a human right, according to
the United Nations.

The statement continues: “Further, the UPP has learned of other
plans involving a BOOT operation that will turn the water generated
by APUA into a secondary or back-up source, forcing consumers to
patronize yet another private business.

“The Party is not satisfied that the Browne Administration has
attempted to hold any meaningful dialogue with the Opposition
MPs, who represent thousands – in spite of the Hon. Jamale Pringle’s
proposal for discourse in a non-political forum that involves both
householders and the business community.”

Accordingly, the UPP says, residents who are already under-served
should not be excluded from the discussion table – especially when
they will be asked to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for the
water service.

“It is not enough to humiliate managers and threaten the staff of the
Authority in a crafty attempt to justify privatization and cover the
Administration’s failure to honour its 2014 promises,” the Party

“In matters involving APUA, the ‘P’ representing the ‘public’ must
not be deleted.”

Based on the Administration’s current plans for outsourcing these
responsibilities of the APUA – and the effect they will have on
consumers – “the UPP encourages all residents and business owners
to demand that Prime Minister Browne engage them in consultation