“Utilities minister needs to go!” says Goodwin

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The time has come for the minister with responsibility for APUA, Robin Yearwood, to be relieved of his portfolio.
Bruce Goodwin, founding member of the Democratic National Alliance DNA), made the strong statement yesterday in an interview with OBSERVER media.
“We need to call on the population to demand the resignation of the utilities minister who obviously is not competent to discharge the responsibilities of his portfolio effectively. Households in this country are clearly suffering terribly under the yoke of this incompetent regime which governs in the interest of their own personal enrichment and not in the interest of the development and security of the people,” Goodwin said.
He added that the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) has historically allowed the infrastructure of the country to deteriorate drastically under its rule, especially when it comes to water. He also pointed out that the ALP known as the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) since 2014, has had the reins of power in Antigua and Barbuda for over 50 years in total yet the fact that its government still cannot provide a commodity as essential and basic as water shows just how “incompetent“ they are.
Goodwin, the DNA’s spokesperson on utilities, served as the country’s ambassador to Cuba under a previous United Progressive Party (UPP) administration before becoming a founding member of the DNA. He highlighted words of the current utilities minister in which Sir Robin had stated during an election campaign address that any government that is unable to provide the population with the basic necessities such as water is not a government that should be in office.
The DNA member dismissed as a smoke screen, the reason which the ruling party has given – that of the sargassum seaweed being responsible for the disruption in water distribution. According to him, the regime has historical been incapable of planning, developing and managing the country’s resources effectively for the benefit of the masses.
Goodwin suggested that exploring underground water sources and effectively managing the current water sources will go a far way in ensuring water security but he insisted that the government’s inability to mobilise finance and expertise to carry out these tasks is a reflection of incompetence and overall lack of concern.
Goodwin said that his personal experience is similar to that of most other Antiguans and Barbudans. He said that he receives water for an average of two hours a day. Although, he acknowledged that dry conditions are the norm in Antigua and Barbuda, he posited that research must be done in an effort to determine how the utilities provider may be better able to provide water to the population since the current situation is unacceptable.
He also admonished APUA that charging people for services they did not receive is tantamount to fraud and such practices should be halted.  Goodwin echoed sentiments shared by many consumers that they receive little to no water for a given month yet receive bills that reflect high usage of water.
OBSERVER media’s Voice of the People (VOP) and Snake Pit radio programmes are bombarded daily by complaints from irate residents and citizens, who share their frustration at what some see as a lack of empathy by the authorities.
The call for the removal of the utilities minister comes less than a month after Sharifa George, APUA Public Relations Coordinator, told OBSERVER media that the authority is working on reducing the impact of reduced production at one of the country’s reverse osmosis plants.

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