Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 6th 2013 Contents interview
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Q: Senator Singh, I think
we may fall out this
morning you know?
A: (A short pause in his
Tower D office at the
Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain,
Friday morning): Fall out with you,
Clevon? I don t fall out with mem-
bers of the press as long as they
conduct themselves in a profes-
I have to break a promise I gave
you with regards to doing this
Are you saying members of the
press breach their arrangements?
Today is for today, and tomorrow
is for tomorrow. (smiling)
It has to do with the promise
that I won t ask questions on St
Joseph which is inevitable, and
people will expect me to do
I don t know what is inevitable
in anything you see, it is inevitable
we will die...(laughs) That is a fact
of life, but we can handle what we
Very well. How challenging is
your ministry, Senator Singh?
I will give you a sense of what
this ministry is about; if you antic-
ipate changes in the weather we
have the metrological services so
that impacts upon...from the fish-
erman to the aircraft industry and
all in between (He gives a lengthy
explanation on his portfolio, which
includes the Water and Sewerage
Some years ago, when the UNC
was in office you did promise
water for all. Do you intend to
continue on that journey in your
Water for all was an egalitarian
objective for WASA. It was to deal
with the virtual water apartheid
that was taking place in the coun-
try, where one part of the country
was given water and the rest of
the country was suffering, so we
had to fashion an egalitarian
What informed that position
of no water for one part of the
It was politically motivated.
Yes, because the water was pro-
duced in the North, and it was
easier to satisfy the North and the
political alignment of the PNM
government was along the East-
West Corridor. And when the UNC
came into office in 1995, we took
a different approach; that water
was essential, that water was life
and water was a right, so water
for all was an articulated vision.
What is the reality since then,
(Referring to his notes) When
we got into office in 2010, you had
18 per cent of the country getting
water 24/7, and you had 38 per
cent of the country getting water
five days a week. Tremendous
changes have taken place.
Now 49 per cent of the country
gets 24/7 and 75 per cent of the
country getting water five days a
week. In Tobago 23 per cent of the
population was getting 24/7. In 2013,
67 per cent get water seven days a week,
24 hours a day.
Was that an achievement of the
THA or WASA?
It was WASA and I am advised that
by 2014, Tobago would have achieved
water for all. In Trinidad we have a 38
million all deficit a day, and we are
investing significantly, we are changing
transmission lines and so on.
The environment... Do you believe,
Senator, that Trinis are seriously con-
cerned about the condition of our
There is a cultural attitude in this
country; not in my backyard. So people
within the confines of their property
they throw everything over the fence.
We have to change that, we have to
build education, we have to build
awareness, and we also need rigid
enforcement of the laws.
You do know, Minister Singh, that
part of our problem is the lack of
enforcing the laws and regulations?
In the last budget we increased the
fine for littering.
Wildlife, Minister Singh, you have
taken some knocks for imposing that
ban...What do you have against
(Laughter) I want to tell you some-
thing, Clevon, I am a warrior for the
protection of wildlife, I am a warrior
for wilderness protection, I am a warrior
for the environment and when the sta-
tistics were disclosed after a national
consultation which began in January
as to the depletion of wildlife in
Trinidad and Tobago we had to ask...
Singh: Water for all
in Tobago by 2014
Senator Ganga Singh, Minister of the
Environment and Water Resources, has dubbed
himself as a warrior for the environment and
the country's wildlife.
Fending off criticisms from the hunting
fraternity for the Government's two-year ban on
hunting wild animals, Singh is confident of the
PP administration retaining the St Joseph
constituency in next month's by-election.
He also said there will be water for all in Tobago
early next year.
Continues on Page A9
with Clevon Raphael
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