Thursday, November 26, 2020

Why Davis Says Govt Should Shut-Up and Pay Water Company After Eleuthera Shutdown

PLP leader Philip Davis said it is regrettable that businesses and homes in Eleuthera went without water for about three days due to the government’s negligence. He said the government must pay its bill to prevent disconnection from the water company Aqua Design.

The Big Picture

The government of the Bahamas and Aqua Design are in a payment dispute as government owes nearly $30.8 million to vendors and suppliers, of which a portion was due to Aqua Design at the end of August, this year, according to the Tribune.

Aqua Design has almost nine contracts to supply water throughout the islands, including Inagua, San Salvador and Eleuthera, contracts awarded and signed by the last PLP administration.

What the disconnection means

More than 2000 residents were without water during a COVID-19 period when they are encouraged to maintain proper hygiene amid the spread of the virus.

Areas affected

  • Governor’s Harbour
  • Palmetto Point
  • James Cistern
  • Savannah Sound
  • Windermere Island

How was the water turned back on?

An injunction was filed in the Supreme Court, ordering that the water be turned back on for residents. Government, before the injunction, paid 4 million dollars this year, on its debt owed to Aqua Design. The water company had previously warned that it would disconnect supply to the Family Islands where it operates.

Works Minister Desmond Bannister calls Aqua Design “greedy”

He said the company “could have waited, but they are greedy and we have to deal with greedy people.” He added that the contracts the company signed are one-sided in their favour which “no thinking government would have signed.”

Philip Davis, former Minister responsible for water, says shut-up and pay the debt

Philip Davis, who would have had a hand in awarding the contracts to Aqua Design said the government should stop the finger-pointing and pay Aqua Design.

“The question to the government is very simple. Did the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) pay its bills to the water supplier and if not, is the supplier justified in turning off the water supply for nonpayment just as the government has disconnected the water and power supplies to thousands of its customers for nonpayment?

“The government must lead by example and pay its bills just as it demands payments from its utility customers.”

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