Minister of the Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe (FP)????

The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is $60 million closer to modernisation.

Word of this has come from Minister of the Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe, who revealed that Government had successfully competed for a US $30 million IDB (Inter American Development Bank) loan, which would virtually kick-start the Authority’s modernisation thrust.

"The loan is US $30 million, and that would put us over the top in terms of the roll out of the programme. But certainly modernisation, because it is a dynamic process, may require more as we go along," he explained.

Dr. Lowe’s comments came this morning, following a presentation of $500 to Selah Primary School, the second recipient in as part of the Minister of the Environment Schools’ Environmental Partnership Programme.

Stressing that modernisation went way beyond systems to include structures, quality of service and, by extension, the policing of service, the Environment Minister maintained that the process was generally long-term.

"The modernisation programme is a long-term process, but I believe that?? people would be willing to fall in line with the change and to examine how they do their work, and the best possible systems required to deliver their service. I have not found the staff resistant; I have not found them indifferent. I believe that they are willing to work hard and I think that the new leadership structure is going to assist in that regard," he explained.

Pledging that with Government and the Ministry’s support he believed that the Barbadian public could "look forward to something special from the BWA," Minister Lowe underscored the importance of the appointment of a Board Executive Chairman to the upgrading efforts.

"My view is that with the Executive Chairman in place, a new type of authority stream [will obtain] at the BWA. In other words, the Executive Chairman will take his mandate from the Minister and then is responsible for ensuring that management

understands that mandate, and that it is implemented at a rate compatible with Government’s agenda for the BWA," he explained.

Meanwhile, Minister Lowe nevertheless underscored the utility of outgoing Board Chairman Dr. Atlee Brathwaite, whose post he said, now becomes redundant with the appointment of an Executive Chairman.

"Now that Mr. Walters has taken over fully as the appointed Executive Chairman, Dr. Braithwaite no longer provides that service for the Board. However, Dr. Brathwaite is so highly skilled and has developed a very strong relationship with staff at [the] BWA that I have indicated to Mr. Walters that he has all the freedom to employ his (Dr. Brathwaite’s) skills," Minister Lowe explained.

In terms of the road ahead, he pledged "I think that going forward we will continue to ensure that every area of operations is fully-staffed. We will continue to ensure that persons with particular skills are in the right domains within the Authority and I think it is really a process that will take some time before we experience the kind of results that we are looking for," he concluded.

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