Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says he has been forced to personally intervene in operations at North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA), due to the inefficiency at the Port-of-Spain...
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Citizens want value for money
Five minutes from the capital city, Port-of-Spain, from major businesses and government offices, in the community of Belmont, lives 45-year-old Sharon Persad* and her family.
The Persads* have lived in Belmont for 17 years and the only thing consistent about their water supply, is the fact that they rarely have one.
“For the past 17 years it has been about the same, we get mostly no water during the week. We get water for three out of seven days and the times we get water is between midnight and 7 am or during the day between 11 am and around 4 pm when nobody is at home or everybody in school or something. Sometimes days and weeks we go without water as well.
“There are times we get more water than regular, in the raininy season we get water around four times a week and also, believe it or not, at election time.”
To Persad, it’s bad enough that her water supply is inconsistent, but what is equally frustrating is knowing that she pays for it.
“We pay for our water and we see how everywhere you go, it is leaking all over the road. It is very frustrating because we can’t cook very often and have to buy food. We cannot have showers often, we bathe in buckets from the tank. It is unhealthy, my mom sickly and had an amputation and needed running water to clean things and we couldn’t do that.”
Persad said she often wondered why people living in other parts of Belmont had a more consistent supply, but has not been able to get an answer from WASA.
“Sometimes there are leaks and I get really upset, especially on the hot days. It makes you feel to cry, going home after a long day you don’t have a shower, you use a bucket and then you see water running all over the road.”
For the average homeowner, the water bill adds up to about $200 to $300 per quarter.
According to the information provided on a WASA bill, standpipes distribute water at a billing rate of $33.75 per quarter, while internally serviced properties are billed at a rate of $108 to $304 per quarter