By Audley Phillip
I salute the government plans to improve and expand the housing stock as well as to increase the number of hotel rooms on Antigua and Barbuda. Sadly, the availability of consistent portable running water has not kept pace with the developments in the housing and hotel sector.
The inefficient water production and management is a sour point to the majority of homeowners, many of whom takes to social media and other forums to voice their displeasure at the consistent lack of running water in their homes. Water outage is so regular these days that it is considered by many as normal.
This is 2019, not 1919 and both water and electricity are essential services. Whilst I am not advocating an increase in the price for these services, I think that if consumers were asked to pay $10.00 more with a guarantee of getting better and improved service, then most consumers would gladly go along with it.
In terms of rainfall, Antigua receives on an annual basis about 37 – 40 inches of rain. The island of Aruba receives about 17 inches annually. Both countries depend heavily on desalination plants in order to provide the required water for its domestic and other purposes. Aruba’s population is about 110,000 people and it attracts more than 1 million international visitors annually. Having spent quite sometime there on multiple occasions, running water is always on. How I wish I could say the same thing about Antigua.
It is quite embarrassing sometimes visiting friends and you can smell their toilet from the front door and they would quickly tell you that running water has been off for the last 3 to 4 days. Unacceptable! I often watch my neighbours rushing to fill up all their receptacles as soon as the water comes on because they know that within a few hours the water would be gone again. And so it did!
APUA must adopt and apply a schedule of maintenance that allows for continuity with little or no disruption in the service. Many people have showers and for weeks they have had to resort to bathing in plastic baths or buckets because either there’s no running water or the power of the water is insufficient to allow for it to come through the shower head. Back to the olden days of bathing!
Whilst APUA brags and boasts about Bendals Water Treatment Plant, Ffryers Reverse Osmosis Plant, Pidgeon Point Plant, Camp Blizzard Plant, Shell Beach Plant and the Delaps Water Treatment Plant amongst others, the water situation in Antigua is deplorable.
I am calling on the powers that be to do something about it quickly. People are crying out for improvement.
=====================================================================================================================Audley Phillip is a veteran Sales and Customer Service Specialist having worked in the telecommunications sector for well over 25 years. He is now a freelance writer as well as a news and current affairs analyst.
The views expressed are my own and I welcome your feedback on: [email protected]