Head of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) Keithroy Halliday has admitted that its mains replacement programme has not gone according to plan.
“The stance that the BWA has had for a while is that the mains replacement programme that we should have been pursuing in earnest has not been what it should have been,” Halliday, the BWA’s general manager told members of the media at a press conference this morning.
“In fact, we were only able to do it previously under one of the international funding agencies’ programme, which was the IDB [International Development Bank]. We would have heard the numbers that the Prime Minister and the minister both echoed in terms of the actual costs of mains replacement for the next several years, possibly 15 to 25 years and going forward, there is a deliberate effort now to put that in perspective and to look at how we can manage that in pieces.”
However, Halliday gave the assurance that the BWA was moving full steam ahead in its bid to secure funding for the programme.
He said two organisations had already come on board to provide funding, which would allow the BWA to replace almost 50 km of its aged pipes.
“If we were to look at the spend in terms of our mains replacement programme we are considerably under what we should be, just in terms of maintaining that.
“So for the moment we have at least two components under two additional funding agencies that are coming on board, one of which has already started and that is doing about 16 kilometres. There is another funding programme coming in place that is going to do another 30 kilometres,” Halliday revealed.
The general manager also announced that Government had taken the decision to award the BWA 20 per cent of all of the renewable energy programmes across the island.
He said the monies raised from those programmes would be used to help fund the mains replacement programme.
“Those funds would be put into a sinking fund and that money will be specifically used to fund the mains replacement programme over the next 25 years,” Halliday said.
“So in addition to what we have been doing and what we have committed to, that programme will address in a very complete way all of the mains replacement that is required over the next 25 years and you can recognize that we are dealing with about 2500 kilometres of mains, plus other developments.”