Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 11th 2017 Contents news A7
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Le Hunte: No magic wand
to solve WASA problems
Minister of Public Utilities Robert
Le Hunte said citizens cannot ex-
pect a magic wand to be waved
and all the problems affecting the
Water and Sewerage Authority
would be ixed.
He said giving the limited re-
sources at the Government's dis-
posal WASA is attempting to ix
some of the critical issues.
Speaking to the media during
a tour of Arima water facilities,
the Minister said WASA began a
leak repair programme as a sig-
ni icant portion that water being
produced was being wasted.
He also promised to stop a
quarry from disposing of its slush
in the Guanapo River immedi-
ately as this was one of the major
causes of water disruption in
Arima. The slush affects the func-
tioning of the pump at Guanapo.
"It is not a wand that is going
to be waved and problems of
WASA is going to be eradicated,"
Le Hunte said.
The Public Utilities Minister
made these statements on his
visit to the Borough of Arima after
numerous complaints were made
by the Mayor of Arima Lisa Morris
-Julian and burgesses about the
scarcity of water in the eastern
Le Hunte said he was satis-
ied by the apolo y made by the
WASA to the Mayor, Councillors
and burgesses of Arima after
WASA distributed water for a bi-
kini carwash at Calvary bar, while
thousands were without a water
The minister assured the bur-
gesses that there would be no re-
currence of such a situation.
Le Hunte said since assuming
of ice two months ago he made
a decision to get out on the ield
and speak with the people and
also to get a irst-hand view of the
He told the media that his visit
to Arima along with of icials from
WASA which included CEO Dr
Ellis Buris, Operations Manager
Shurland Shepard, Senior Project
Manager Arlene Johnson Law-
rence and Deputy Permanent
Secretary Beverley Khan, was
due to the numerous complaints
he had received from the Mayor
of Arima and the burgesses,
who are without water supply
for weeks and to also look at the
IDB wastewater project along the
"It is my duty to see what is
happening and view the problem,
especially when it affects people
and country," Le Hunte said.
Councillor for Calvary Michael
Castellano told Le Hunte that in
the Dry and Rainy seasons people
suffer for water at Calvary.
"Nobody knows the pressure
that we experience for water. He
asked why it is WASA have to lock-
off water distribution from Mt
Pleasant to supply Calvary Hill.
"Why is this happening in
2017? I had to beg the Fire Service
to supply water to the burgesses
and himself. To be frank WASA
system is outdated," he said
Morris-Julian said the distri-
bution of water is a challenge as
burgesses will videotape water
overflowing at the pump and ask
why they are not receiving water.
Le Hunte also toured to
O'Meara Road where he saw a
WASA main which has been leak-
ing since 2013.
Le Hunte said those leaks that
could be ixed, would be ixed
and the bigger issues will be ad-
dressed in the long term.
Floating Manager WASA North
East Distribution Vonetta Antoine
told the minister that the short-
age of water supply occurs as a
result of flooding which forces
the distribution plants to shut
down after heavy and consistent
She said there are some peo-
ple who are building homes at
Calvary Hill and Mt Pleasant at a
higher level cannot access water
from the WASA distribution sys-
To solve the problem, she sug-
gested the water treatment plant
Le Hunte agreed but noted
there were bigger problems and
in the interim, the Government
was going to ix what could be
ANSA McAL employees stand in front the five 20ft containers, packed with supplies, bound for Hurricane-ravaged Dominica as part of the group's
Family First-Hurricane Relief Initiative at AMCO's compound in Chaguanas on Thursday.
Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte, left, listens to the complaints
from Councillor for Calvary Hill Michael Castellano during his tour of
WASA's facilities in Arima yesterday. At right is CEO of WASA Dr Ellis Burris.
PICTURE RALPH BANWARIE
RADHICA DE SILVA
Even though he does not expect
an early general election, politi-
cal leader-elect of the Movement
for Social Justice (MSJ) David Ab-
dulah says he is con ident that his
party's membership will grow by
2020, positioning them favoura-
bly against the PNM and the UNC.
However, he does not foresee
a coalition with either the ruling
or opposing party. The MSJ was
one of the political parties which
formed the People's Partnership
coalition in 2010 and was the irst
to leave the union.
Speaking to reporters after il-
ing his nomination papers at the
party's headquarters in St Joseph
Village, San Fernando yesterday,
Abdulah denied that the MSJ was
holding internal elections along
with the UNC and the COP be-
cause of impending general elec-
The COP internal elections will
take place also on November 19,
while the UNC's internal election
is carded for November 26.
Saying the MSJ's constitution
mandates that internal elections
be held every three years, Abdu-
lah said the cycle for elections had
arrived and this was why elections
He also said that the MSJ was
making inroads in some commu-
nities after losing some members
to the People's Partnership after
Asked what was the member-
ship like, Abdulah said he did
not have the igures. However, he
said membership had climbed as
the PNM's popularity continues
to tumble. "When we go to Diego
Martin, Arima, Point Fortin and
other parts of the country we are
hearing that people want change.
We are offering that because the
PNM and the UNC are flip sides of
the same coin.
"In terms of policies and run-
ning the system, they do exactly
the same thing.
"We are opposed to the PNM's
policies. People are saying that
they changed parties but life has
"The status quo remains intact.
The elite that controls and bene it
from the resources of this country
remain intact whether we have
PNM or UNC.
"The people who suffer as a re-
sult of that are ordinary people,"
He added that once he retains
his post he will build the party
from the ground up by listening
to the people. The MSJ's elections
will take place on November 19.
Among the posts being con-
tested are Chairperson, Deputy
Chairperson, Political Leader,
Deputy Political Leader, Gen-
eral Secretary, Assistant General
Secretary, Treasurer, Education
Of icer, Elections Of icer, Interna-
tional Relations Of icer, Party Or-
ganiser, Public Relations Of icer
and Social Services Of icer.
ANSA MCAL FAMILY DONATES TO DOMINICA
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