By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT and shareholder of Winton Estates Raymond K Claridge yesterday criticised the Water and Sewage Corporation (WSC) for their “inefficiency” for failing to fix a damaged water valve in the Twynam Heights area that has allegedly been “gushing” water for three days.
Mr Claridge told the Big T yesterday the corporation’s efforts regarding the matter so far were “unacceptable,” resulting in the wastage of “scarce” water Bahamians have to pay “premium dollars to get and save”.
“It’s thousands of gallons of water being wasted,” he said. “Water is coming out like Niagara Falls and now you’ve got a whole lake along the side of the road. Somebody needs to investigate the (Water and Sewage) department to see exactly the system (of communication) they’re using. I don’t know where it broke down.”
According to Mr Claridge, he had telephoned the WSC “right after lunch” on Wednesday and reported that someone had “cut the end of of one of the water lines” on the government side of the road and that “thousands of gallons” of water was “gushing out.” He said when he called the corporation initially, the lady that assisted him was “very polite and very efficient,” and informed him that the corporation would dispatch someone to take care of the leak.
Mr Claridge said he also gave the lady his name and cell phone number in case water and sewage officials had difficulty locating the alleged leak. However after checking again on Thursday he said the water was still gushing, consequently creating “a whole lake” along the side of the road and along the adjacent lots.
He said he told the lady at WSC that Thursday’s call would be the last and threatened that if the problem still existed up to yesterday he would “get the newspapers involved” and give the corporation “all the exposure (they) deserve.”
“The country cannot afford this type of wastage through somebody’s carelessness and inefficiency,” Mr Claridge said. “We’ve got to figure out a way to get these bloody departments to be more efficient, especially when you’re dealing with environmental things. As scarce as the water is, and we’re having to pay premium dollars to get and save water, through carelessness thousands of gallons of water is being wasted.
“There’s no particular hazard as far as safety is concerned but it’s totally unacceptable to have that kind of water being wasted. The inefficiency, and this can happen it seems to be whatever department you call. It doesn’t matter what government is in power. It’s not a political thing. It’s just an inefficient thing as far as the civil servants are concerned. It’s got to be stopped somehow and I don’t have the answer to it, I just get frustrated about it.”
When The Big T contacted the WSC for comment, Chief Financial Officer Sandra Edgecombe said: “I cannot comment on it specifically other than to say we will have it investigated immediately,” she said. “I will have to see if a complaint was generated from a customer or from a concerned citizen in regards to that.”
Mr Claridge also blasted members of the public for throwing garbage over the sides of the road in Twynam Heights and costing his company a “fortune” to clean up. “We spend a bunch of money everywhere, cleaning up what shouldn’t be necessary,” he said. “It’s just the public themselves driving by, throwing out boxes from various restaurants where they’ve bought their lunches and so it’s all over the road.
“We have a promotion coming up shortly, and every week I have to move at least two to three pickup loads of garbage that people just driving by, unconcerned, throw the stuff out of the window. From beer bottles, soda cans, boxes with discarded food; it’s really just frustrating. The real reason I’m complaining is the water situation, but while they’re looking at the water they might as well take a look and see what can we do to get Bahamian people to have more pride in themselves and some respect for other people’s private properties.”