The contents of a video which has been circulating on social media has been brought to our attention, in which disturbing allegations are being made against the Minister of Public Utilities and by extension the Water and Sewerage Authority (the Authority), regarding political victimization in distribution of water within the district of Sangre Grande. The Authority wishes to strongly refute these allegations. Whilst we acknowledge that there were challenges over the holiday weekend within the Sangre Grande area, politics played no part in the distribution of water in the affected communities.

In the week prior to the Christmas holiday, mechanical problems developed at the Authority's North Oropouche Water Treatment Plant, located in the Valencia area. Workers were immediately mobilized to effect repairs, so as to restore a supply as quickly as possible to the affected residents. Steps were also taken to implement various measures to assist with mitigating the impact on customers in the affected areas. Some of these mitigating steps included adjusting the scheduled supply to affected areas and environs, as well as implementing an expanded truck borne water service. The actual steps to be taken to fully address this matter was operational in nature and not influenced by anyone at the Ministry of Public Utilities. It is also important to note that the areas affected ranged from Manzanilla/ Sangre Grande in the East, to Five Rivers in the West.

As a result of this unfolding situation and in an effort to keep those affected informed of what was happening, the Authority issued a statement to the media and posted to its social media pages on 23rd December, outlining the problem being experienced, the areas impacted and the estimated completion time for repairs on 24th December. A subsequent statement was also issued on 24th December, informing of the completion of repairs at 9:00 p.m. and the planned schedule for restoring a supply to the various areas on 25th December.

The Authority wishes to underscore that the recent disruption in normal service to customers supplied by the North Oropouche Plant, was unfortunate, unavoidable and the Authority's response during and after this disruption was aimed at the equitable restoration and distribution of supply to all affected customers, in the shortest possible time. Nevertheless, the Authority would like to apologize to all affected customers for this disruption in service.

The Authority remains committed to working closely with all stakeholders, including local government representatives at the various Corporations, in order to ensure the best possible service to our customers and burgesses. We continue to strive within our system constraints to provide a supply to meet the needs of the population. We have noted the claims of threats being made by an employee and are currently investigating same and will address the matter accordingly based on the findings.


Corporate Communications Department
December 30, 2019