Indarsingh: Under PNM, WASA more sewage than water

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh. – File photo by Ayanna Kinsale

THE Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) is advising customers that despite the Met Office’s declaration of the rainy season, the pre-existing water supply situation has not changed.

WASA showed a graph of the levels at the four main reservoirs compared to the long-term average (LTA) in a press release on May 28.

In Arena, the current level is 26.6 per cent while the LTA is 54.8 per cent, in Navet the current level is 30.4 per cent while the LTA is 47.9 per cent.

In Hollis it stands at 37.1 per cent while the LTA is 43.5 per cent and in Hillsborough it is currently 40.9 per cent while the LTA is 57.1 per cent.

WASA said, “As a result of the harsh dry season and the impact on our reservoirs and river levels, the Authority has had to cut back on production at all its major surface water treatment plants, in keeping with its water supply management plans.”

The release continued that the cutbacks are accounting for a deficit of approximately 45 million gallons per day (mgd) in WASA overall water production and affects eight water treatment plants across Trinidad and Tobago.

Two opposition MPs voiced their resulting concerns about their respective constituencies.

In a press release on May 28, Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh said, “The constituents have been subjected to a prolonged and egregious failure of WASA led by chairman Ravindra Nanga and CEO Kelvin Romain and the People’s National Movement (PNM) government.”

Indarsingh said despite new wells commissioned at the Freeport Water Treatment Plant and the refurbished well in California, the people of Couva South still lack a reliable water supply.

He added that with an election year approaching, the PNM’s failures will not be forgotten and the United National Congress (UNC) will continue to hold it accountable for its “lack of vision for Trinidad and Tobago.”

On May 28, Indarsingh sent Newsday via e-mail 19 WhatsApp messages he had received from his constituents.

One read, “We require URGENT assistance in having some truck borne water delivered. We haven’t had a water supply for six days in the main.”

Another said, “Maingot has no water for over ten days and our tanks are empty.”

On May 28 Chaguanas East MP Vandana Mohit said in a press release, “The constituency is currently experiencing severe and ongoing water shortages which have been significantly affecting the daily lives of its residents.

“The current situation has reached a critical point, requiring immediate attention and action from both local and national authorities relative to a basic necessity.”

She said the lack of and nonexistent supply of water has many constituents not being able to do basic daily activities such as cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene.

“Schools and businesses are also suffering with many forced to close temporarily due to the lack of water disrupting education, economic activities and livelihoods.

“Access to clean water is a basic human right, and it is imperative that immediate measures are taken to alleviate this crisis. We are calling on WASA and the Ministry of Public Utilities to prioritise this issue and implement sustainable solutions to restore regular water supply to this constituency.”

WASA said it continued to urge citizens to conserve water and was looking forward to increased rainfall in the coming weeks and months which will “recharge our reservoirs, rivers and production at our water treatment facilities to be restored to normal.”

Indarsingh concluded, “We will not rest until every citizen has access to a reliable water supply, as is their right under human dignity.

“It is time for the people to flush the PNM out. Under the PNM, WASA is more sewage than water.”