Prime Minister Browne Reveals Privatization Strategy in Antigua’s Battle Against Water Woes


Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, is grappling with the persistent water crisis that has been afflicting the nation.

Despite the government’s substantial investment of over one hundred million dollars over the past few years to address the chronic water problem, the situation remains unresolved, leading to increasing frustrations.

During a recent episode of the Browne and Browne Show on Point FM, the Prime Minister shed light on the government’s ongoing efforts to rectify the water crisis.

Browne has high hopes for improvements in the coming year, with plans for a new reverse osmosis plant set to become operational by the second half of 2024, expected to produce a remarkable three million gallons of water daily.

Additionally, an extensive re-piping project is underway to address the significant 20 percent water loss resulting from leaks in aging pipes.

In a significant development, the government has decided to privatize a portion of the water production system.

This decision has prompted the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) to consider proposals from two entities: a local company, Caribbean Water Treatment, and a Trinidad and Tobago-based concern.

However, despite the substantial investment in water infrastructure and distribution, consumers throughout Antigua continue to voice their frustrations regarding the persistent lack of water.

Prime Minister Browne’s vexation is also directed towards the management of the Water Division at APUA.

He expressed bewilderment at the fact that some residents have been enduring prolonged water shortages, even though daily water production exceeds seven million gallons, while the daily demand stands at approximately nine million gallons.

The water crisis has become a central concern for Prime Minister Browne’s government, as it remains a critical issue that has not yet been resolved to the satisfaction of the people.







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  1. Do you people who write these stories fact check anything or do you just repeat what people say?

    Your article states: “Additionally, an extensive re-piping project is underway to address the significant 20 percent water loss resulting from leaks in aging pipes”.

    Is this a correct statement?

    Is the leakage really 20%?

    Where is the ‘extensive re-piping project’ taking place?

    Did you confirm this information with A.P.U.A. Management?

    Have you spoken to A.P.U.A. Management to see if funds are available to be able to do the thing this government wants?

    As an entity that shares information, I am of the view that minimum
    fact-checking should at least be attempted and not just repeat what you all hear is being said on radio programs because you all may just be a part of mis-informing the public.

  2. I agree with the PM something has to be done and soon. Let’s all try to sort this out before more of us have no water for years to come.

    • @Sharon Lycorish
      The government knows what has to be done, but they will not spend the money to do it. APUA doesn’t control Finance to do the necessary re-piping. Gaston is disingenuous and trying to blame the management of APUA.
      Just wait and see when they get some local company that they and their cronies control to manage the water supply. They will then spend the money to do the re-piping, because they will be making money and water can’t run in leaking pipes.
      People, don’t be fooled. They know what they are doing or not doing.

      • Well said gentleman, well said. Longtime I see this thing coming,from both side until the most greedy apply for it. Let’s not forget what’s going on with the guys open and close the valves,their redirect the water where i$$$$ more convenient for the famous WATA TRUCK managed from both side of the coin.

  3. I would support and encourage such a move. Government must seek to divest itself of both the electricity and water divisions in the short term and the telecommunications sector later. The kinds of money that the government pumps into APUA particularly the water division is ridiculous and it is still very poor. The water division of APUA is heavily subsidize by government and that is money that could have been invested in other productive sectors of the economy. Government need to stick to its role as the regulator and privatize these troubled entities.

    • My friend, I do not agree with you on this one. In this world, one size does not fit all.

      To my mind, privatization means that the investor or investors will seek to make a profit, after all the expenses that have been incurred.

      In our reality in Antigua, the vast majority of us are working hand-to-mouth and scarcely that.

      Government subsidizing electricity and water is not doing us a favour. I repeat, government is not doing us a favour by subsidizing electricity and water.

      If the vast majority of us were working for a reasonable wage, then I will agree with privatization because persons will reasonably be able to pay to enjoy a reasonable life and not one at or below the poverty level.

      Think about this my friend. How come I am smart enough to increase my wealth and the wealth of those around me but I am not smart enough to increase the wealth of the majority of my citizens?

      As our elders use to say, there is more in the mottle than in the pestle (hope I got that right – l.o.l).

  4. Gaston Browne has no credibility and is not trustworthy. None of his big talks and promises, I repeat,NONE,have ever come to fruition. You can just bet there is something in it for him and his cronies.
    Why is he always dipping his mouth in every other department of government when as finance minister, having collected more than any other finance minister, 11 plus billion, the country is poor, derelict, dirty, no government department functions, people are owed millions, we’re paying of the wazoo for Alpha Nero, and the list is endless?
    This just has the sound of IMF somewhere in the shadows. Labourites, remember the accursed IMF, that he condemns UPP for, claiming it cost Antigua and Barbuda 10,000 jobs? Watch out! Remember he said no new taxes? Watch out! The madman is on the loose.

  5. We moving backwards. So the newly built road going south did anyone see new pipe lines installed. With all the experience and bright you all bright, you all just cannot get a single thing right.

  6. The PM has every right to unload on the management of APUA…..but he shouldn’t stop there. The PM put a minister in charge of APUA and the PM put a board in place to run the affairs of APUA. They (including the PM) have all failed – spectacularly.

    The PM has rewarded Robin Yearwood with a knighthood for his stellar performance at APUA. Does the PM see the irony in that? If the entire department under Robin Yearwood is not performing at all, how then does Yearwood get knighted? For what exactly? That is on the PM.

    Given the downward spiral in the performance of APUA under current minister Melford Nicholas, I can only guess that his name will be included in the list of honourees for our next Independence celebrations.

  7. @Audley Phillip,
    The reason why the Government has been pumping money into these troubled utilities stems from one thing only; and that thing is Corruption. Divesting and regulating adds another layer of corruption.
    Water a basic human need, it has been always a commodity that the Antigua politicians have put their fangs into just like sand. I learned that back in the 90s, when I tried to bring in bottled water out of Saint Maatin.
    Given the substandard of the public schooling system where over 40% of males leave school semi illiterate; should the Government privatize the public schooling system also?
    It may eventually happen as took place in Haiti, where many basic needs are privatized allowing the elite to live like princes and princesses while sending their kids to private schools in Florida and Paris; and the poor live like dogs.
    Privatization opens the door for the politically connected who thrives in a corrupt bureaucratic public system here in Antigua and Barbuda, to soak the public not with water but with an additional cost that they cannot afford.

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