|Minister with responsibility for Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick|
Major upgrades and improvements are in the pipeline for the Barbados Water Authority’s (BWA) Capital Works Unit.
This was disclosed last Friday by Minister with responsibility for Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, who said these changes were part of government’s plans to bring about the institutional strengthening of the department.
He said that this would ensure the BWA’s readiness for regulation by the Fair Trading Commission, as well as to bring its service delivery in line with international best practice.
Dr. Estwick pointed out that as part of the improvements requisite staff and equipment would be brought on board to ensure that the BWA’s civil works would be carried out effectively and efficiently.
The Capital Works Unit is responsible for the installation and replacement of mains for BWA projects and other developers, such as the Ministry of Transport and Works, the Urban and Rural Development Commissions and the National Housing Corporation. It is also responsible for the construction and maintenance of the BWA’s properties across the island and is an integral part of the service delivery mechanism of the BWA.
"These additions will allow us to eliminate the problems associated with long waits for application of service; the difficulties in relation to the procurement of materials and supplies to execute the service; and how we interact with the general public. They will also ensure that there are appropriate response and repair times to burst pipes and other damages; and that there are punitive measures put in place when the Authority is unable to execute these services," the Minister said.
Dr. Estwick also revealed that several positions would be filled shortly in an effort to improve the operational efficiency of the Unit. Those positions are: an engineer, a cost accountant, a quantity surveyor, five mains inspectors, and two engineering assistants.
In terms of equipment, he noted that some five million dollars had been allocated to purchase necessary equipment and vehicles to expand the operational capacity of the Capital Works Unit.
He added that the equipment would consist of four water tankers; two Sewerage Jetter trucks; a 5,000 gallon water tanker; a 50 tonne trailer; two 8,000 kilogramme excavators; and a 20,000 kilogramme excavator.
In addition, Dr. Estwick said the BWA would lease two skid steer loaders, 13 compressors, eight utility service crew trucks, a tractor unit and a crew truck with a tommy lift.
"We are confident that the new staff and equipment will significantly improve the capacity of the Capital Works Unit of the Barbados Water Authority," Dr. Estwick stated.