While accepting that there is more that can be done by APUA to manage water distribution to consumers, Prime Minister Gaston Browne insists his administration has spent more on increasing water production than any other administration in the country’s history.
The government has achieved marked success in its efforts to improve the water supply with the commissioning of at least two reverse osmosis plants, and with more improvements underway, the situation is starting to normalise.
However, the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) has accused the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party-led government of failing to fulfil its election promise to fix the country’s lingering water problem.
“There is this tape in which I said we will increase the water supply within fourteen days. They spun it and said I said we would have fixed the problem in fourteen days. I never said that.”
“The very tape of them promoting me saying that we’re going to fix the water problem actually had me saying that in fourteen days we’ll increase the water supply. So, these guys are just barefaced liars. They’re reckless with the truth. It’s a form of reckless indifference. They just don’t care,” Mr. Browne asserted.
The head of government has acknowledged that the increase in water distribution has been hampered, in part, by the complacency of the Antigua Public Utilities Authority. He made it clear that this should not occur.
Browne maintains it does not take away from the fact that the ABLP administration continues to make progress in resolving the long-standing problem.
Prime Minister Browne reminded the opposition UPP that it was their leader who was “finance minister that could not raise the resources to pay for water, for electricity and even to pay APC for fuel. It is under his tenure as finance minister that we racked up a bill of $ 22 million with Sembcorp”.
“When you juxtapose that now to the performance under the UPP in ten years, they added 300,000 gallons of water a day.
“In our eight and a half years in office, we have added four million gallons of water so far and have paid for an additional three million gallons… so how can Harold [Lovell] reasonably say to the people of Antigua and Barbuda that my administration has done nothing?
“In fact, there is no other administration in the history of this country that has spent more money increasing the water supply.”