The country’s lone water utility, NAWASA, has said it is taking the necessary steps to address the many water challenges being faced in the sector, especially during the dry season.
General Manager of the state-controlled National Water and Sewerage Authority, Christopher Husbands, told reporters last week Tuesday that the Authority has “over $125 million worth of projects that have been prepared to various degrees” and are now awaiting approval and funding.
This announcement comes amidst ongoing water shortages being experienced in various communities throughout the country due to a lack of rainfall, a situation, which Husbands is hopeful “would not worsen.”
The NAWASA General Manager, who was at the time addressing those gathered for the launch of World Water Day at NAWASA’s Main office in St. George’s said, “based on the normal schedules, we still expect another two months (of water shortages).”
Noting that “there are limitations out there in our (water) system,” Husbands pointed to the ongoing discolored water quality produced, especially after heavy rainfall.
He attributed this problem to “(waterway) infrastructure that can no longer do what it needs to do,” dismissing the misconception that NAWASA workers are not executing their jobs.
Husbands noted that most of NAWASA’s assets are “1960s, 1970s built and are really and truly at the end and in some cases past their design life.”
He also emphasised the need to continue pursuit of the “necessary infrastructural funding to build a 2016 and beyond water supply system to supply the whole country.”
The NAWASA boss also spoke of some significant improvements already made by the Authority.
“We continue to improve,” Husbands said noting that “our level of service has improved, our performance as a company has improved and of course, I must thank the public for that because the public has had a marked change to NAWASA’s services and a major change in their response to payment, which is what allows us to do a lot of the things that we need to do.”
He added that NAWASA is very much aware that “we have a dry season coming every year (and) we need to make the investments necessary to provide for the supply and the economy throughout the dry season and of course take care of the challenges that are expected to come with the changes in the climate.”
Husbands pointed out that although, Grenada, as with the rest of the entire region is currently suffering from El Nino, “if you listen to the regional media and you have family in other islands you would realise that so far, we are doing well, comparatively speaking.”
“So we (are) not just sitting down doing nothing…we have to get the projects approved, get the boots on the ground, build the infrastructure we need to build (so) that we are no longer this dependant on consistent rain to take place throughout the year,” he said.
The country has been experiencing a few dry spells over the past few years, with the last drought being experienced in 2010.