Expect “toes to be stepped on and some eggs cracked”!
This stern warning today from Minister of Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams as the Mia Mottley-led Government moves to address inefficiencies at the state-owned Barbados Water Authority (BWA).
Speaking to Barbados TODAY against the backdrop of the sudden resignation of Chief Agricultural Officer Lennox Chandler from the board of the BWA while citing “personal reasons”, Abrahams insisted that change was needed at the state-run utility which is currently saddled with $500 million in loans and mounting financial challenges.
“The Water Authority has a lot of work to do . . . and the chairman and the board of the Barbados Water Authority have their hands full. There are a lot of inefficiencies in the company. It has come under a lot of scrutiny and they have the task of trying to right the wrongs and get the company running efficiently, hopefully turning a profit,” he said, while sidestepping
reports that Chandler, who was appointed to the board in his personal capacity, had called it quits on account of “bad blood” between him and BWA Chairman Leodean Worrell.
However, the minister confirmed that a new letter of appointment was about to be issued to the chief agricultural officer or his nominee to take up the vacant seat on the board, following the May 24 general elections in which the Barbados Labour Party was swept to power.
With respect to the task ahead, Abrahams warned that there would be an uncompromising approach to restoring financial stability and profitability to the BWA, which he acknowledged may cause him – and by extension the board – to make some enemies.
“So, necessarily when you change things or when you try to create efficiencies from inefficiencies, some toes have to be stepped on and some eggs got to be cracked,” Abrahams told Barbados TODAY, while stressing that “you won’t make many friends, but at the end of the day, it is what is good for the company . . . it is what is good for Barbados and it is what is good for the citizens of Barbados and the customers of the Barbados Water Authority”.
He also acknowledged that one of the biggest problems confronting the BWA was the ongoing sewage crisis on the south coast with Government currently seeking to find an additional $2.4 million to finance a new short-term fix after the $3.7 million injection well project, which began under the Democratic Labour Party Government, failed, forcing the BWA to revert to the practice of diverting effluence through the Graeme Hall Swamp.
Abrahams told Barbados TODAY this afternoon he would update the country on the sewage situation on Friday.