Thu | Feb 27, 2020

NWC: Not Working Correctly

Published:Friday | May 17, 2019 | 12:28 AM


The National Water Commission (NWC) is failing in its duties to ensure that an adequate water infrastructure is put in place, once and for all, to meet its water demands and, in particular, during the eight months of the annual dry season.

If the NWC cannot, from a financial standpoint, put the necessary systems in place to satisfy its customers’ needs, then, it’s high time for the Government of Jamaica to divest the country’s most valuable state asset, the NWC, with the goal and hope that a private company will be able to invest the funds necessary to implement the water infrastructure needed to meet Jamaica’s water demands.

Yes, if that happens, such a move would cause an increase in water rates. However, that would be much better than what many Jamaicans have had to experience for decades: extended periods of no water or low water pressure, or be subject to the NWC’s scheduled turn-on/turn-off times.

Under the P.J. Patterson administration, the Phillip Paulwell-led divestment of the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) led to gradual and significant improvements in the country’s energy infrastructure and vast improvements in the JPS’ operations. As a result, today far more communities have street lights and electricity, and there are far less power cuts than what happened prior to JPS’ divestment.

If the NWC is to continue to be operated by the Government, then, to borrow a recent phrase of a popular government minister, it should either “put up or shut up!” Too many times, over the years, wonderful plans are spoken about, but yet the water woes continue.

Unless a significant change to the status quo is made, then NWC may as well change its name to ‘Not Working Correctly’.