Poor leadership was a major contributor to the water woes which many Barbadians endured in the past year, Barbados Labour Party hopeful for St Peter Colin Jordan has charged.
The northern parish was among several which experienced frequent and lengthy water outages for over a year, leaving the managers of the country’s water resource grappling for answers, and consumers frustrated and angry.
However, in the wake of last week’s announcement that the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) was to undergo a major management shake-up, including the confirmation of someone other Acting General Manager Dr John Mwanza as the top executive, Jordan told Barbados TODAY there was never any doubt the problem lay in the management of the water company.
“It was quite evident that this was much more than a drought situation,” Jordan said in an apparent reference to comments last year by both Minister of Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick and BWA Chairman Dr Atlee Brathwaite that the lengthy water outages had been the result of the lasting impact of the 2015 drought.
However, the hotel executive was not prepared to point fingers at Mwanza, stating that often the manager was not the problem.
In fact, he suggested the blame should lie at the minister’s feet.
“I must make the point here that as a person who has been involved in leadership at different levels, my experience has taught me that sometimes bad management has to do with the structure the manager finds himself or herself in. In this case the role of those who supervised the managers at the executive and policy levels needs to be examined. At the end of the day we do not want more of the same in terms of service delivery by the BWA.”
Jordan also was not prepared to be drawn into discussion on the appropriateness of the shake-up, telling Barbados TODAY it was not clear what issues were considered when the decision was taken.
“From where I stand I do not know all that was taken into account in making this decision and so I am unable to make a determination as to whether it was or wasn’t an appropriate decision,” Jordan explained.
The fledgling politician said the residents of St Peter had grown weary of the many reason they had been given for the water outages.
In addition, he said the agency set up and funded by the taxpayers to supply water ought to develop and execute a plan to get water to affected areas.