The Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Lionel “Max” Hurst has taken the side of the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA), giving further explanations as to why electricity has not yet been restored to some homes in Barbuda.
“It depends on when the home owners fix their homes properly,” Hurst said, de- fending the utilities company. This statement came just after Barbuda Peoples Move- ment (BPM) leader and MP for the sister isle, Trevor Walker, threatened to take legal action against Sir Robin Yearwood, the minister responsible for APUA.
Walker has on more than one occasion accused the company of dragging its feet to restore power on Barbuda.
APUA has in the past attributed the reconnection delay to protocol issues, saying mostly that some of the homes just were not ready.
On OBSERVER AM yesterday, Walker intensified his accusations, saying, “That’s just an excuse and that’s a lie. I want people to come here for themselves. They don’t have the things to put electricity to people’s homes…. that is the reality.”
But Hurst said Walker’s statements are untrue because APUA has invested millions of dollars on the plants in Barbuda. “The problem with Barbuda is the electrical wiring in the houses is rather poor, and APUA does not wish to incur liability by connecting homes with poor wiring only to have a fire or some other kind of emergency,” Hurst explained.
The Barbuda MP is adamant that he will ‘beef up’ his efforts for the sake of Barbudans, should the State utility provider renege on its responsibilities.