The state-run National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) has been given the mandate to provide maintenance to the sewer system at the Chinese-built Mt Gay Housing Project.
This was disclosed by Minister of Health, Nickolas Steele at Tuesday’s post-Cabinet Press Briefing as part of the long-term solution to the sewer problem at the housing scheme.
Smelly water from the houses were running into the nearby Mt. Gay Mental Hospital and creating health issues for inmates and workers.
The Public Workers Union (PWU) staged a brief protest action last week and gave the Minister a one-week deadline to find a permanent solution to the problem.
According to Minister Steele, he has found a solution to the problem as NAWASA has been mandated to do the maintenance on the sewer.
“I visited the site last week and I also had reports from NAWASA, from the Engineer, from the Ministry of Works, from Housing, from Environment and Health and everybody together had a meeting and we came up with a definitive way forward which is that there was supposed to be some inspection on that site over the last couple of days to confirm that it is now functioning properly”, he said.
“….There were some areas of concern and that’s why the inspections were carried out and if anything were to be identified, they would be remedied immediately and at that point NAWASA would take over the maintenance of that facility with respect to the sewerage system at Mt Gay,” he added.
Minister Steele told reporters that although the situation at the Mt Gay hospital has been addressed it would take a few days before the smell stops.
NAWASA has also been charged with the responsibility to provide maintenance to the sewerage systems of the other low-income houses around the island.
“NAWASA has the capabilities and specialties to do that and that is why in my opinion I have advised Cabinet and Cabinet has agreed that is the way forward to make sure that there isn’t a constant reoccurrence of any sewage issue at Mt Gay – that is the same policy that will be implemented throughout all of the other housing developments that exist at present and future housing developments,” he said
The minister disclosed that he will be visiting the Mt Gay property over the next few weeks to ensure that everything is running smoothly.