THE EDITOR: I write this while watching chocolate-coloured water pouring out of the taps in my home. I am fortunate to have water but it is not usable. Gallons of water have to be wasted before it becomes relatively clean. The problem has been ongoing for about two decades.
It is clear from excerpts of the Cabinet sub-committee’s report on WASA that the company needs to be closed and, as recommended, a new water management company be established. The Government seems to have taken the easier route and is focused on management; all well and good but that has been tried before. If the focus is only on management we will be having issues with water for many more decades.
The population did not need a report to know that the core problems of WASA are not only management but also the culture of the workplace and the unions. Anyone who has observed a WASA crew at work knows that. WASA seems to have become a make-work programme with family, friends, and those with political and union connections swelling its ranks.
Management may help but an embedded culture of “doh care” and entitlement is difficult to eradicate. Sometimes we need to wipe the slate clean. But nothing can be done if you are afraid of the unions.
Unions have an important function in any society, but when we have bad management coupled with unions overstepping their boundaries, we end up with entities such as WASA and Petrotrin. Unions cannot block innovations and dictate how companies operate. No amount of management change nor new ideas will help if unions are running your company.
Let WASA go the way of Petrotrin. Allow a new company with a new work culture to provide citizens a fighting chance to access clean, potable water every day. After years of suffering, we deserve a reprieve.