Government Continues Efforts To Upgrade BWA

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Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe (FP)

Government is expected to soon roll-out a comprehensive strategy aimed at improving operational, human resources and public relations systems at the Barbados Water Authority (BWA).

This disclosure has come from Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, who said BWA staff was fully on board in the effort to upgrade the level of operations at the island’s lone water company.

"There is a lot of work that has to be done, both at the operational and human resources level. We are now putting a strategy in place to address some of our public relations issues. We also have a training programme that we are going to be rolling out very soon, relative to the training and retraining of workers, to ensure that the country gets the best product out of the Water Authority," Minister Lowe said.??

Describing the level of cooperation from BWA staff as "phenomenal", Dr. Lowe said the Authority was "very aware of where we have to go."

"I believe that the Water Authority staff wants to go forward and I believe that they are combining their efforts with Government to ensure that there is an overall improvement in that regard," he opined.

Minister Lowe noted that human resources upgrading was a long process, and as such, Government would move very quietly and deliberately, to ensure that all staff members got the opportunity to do what they did best and to be a part of the modernisation thrust.

"The Water Authority has in excess of 700 workers – a very healthy, sturdy population – all of which is needed. It is a vast national service, and I just think that we need to tweak some of the areas that we have not done very well in. We are going to work on them and the staff will be a part of the modernisation strategy.

"We are not going to send people in to tell people what they should do, but we are going to send them to be informed by those persons who have given years of service to the Authority, who understand [it] better than some of us do -including myself -and I believe that they have a lot to offer in terms of how we go forward," he concluded.

With regard to the previously announced move to a 24-hour operation, Minister Lowe admitted that this was "still in the contemplation stage" pending necessary and careful collaboration with the trade union and other interests.

"…I think going forward that it is very important for us to have a strong working relationship with the union bodies because I think that they are part of the culture of Authority.?? It seems to me that this is the way to go, and it is going to save us some costs -plus it is going to provide a more ready service to the public and that’s what is important to us," Dr. Lowe contended.

cgaskin@barbados.gov.bb

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