Less than two months into 2016, Tobago is already feeling the weight of a serious water crisis.
Challenging and critical are the two words Chief Secretary Orville London is using to describe the water situation on the island, as he advised Tobagonians that the entire country is under a drought alert. He is hoping the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) can adopt effective measures to mitigate the effects of the water shortage.
“I had a chat with the manager of the WASA Tobago District, who confirmed that the situation where water is concerned and the availability of water is concerned is in fact quite challenging,” London said at last Wednesday’s (17th February 2016) post Executive Council media briefing at the Administrative Complex, Calder Hall.
“Year on year there is a decline in the water levels in all the major sources,” he told reporters.
The Chief Secretary added: “I am hoping that sooner rather than later that efforts would materialise by putting in place the promise for the operationalising of the wells that have been tested last year because that might be the quickest way for us to alleviate the situation. An investment in operationalising those wells will give us an additional four million gallons a day.”
London wants Tobagonians to be aware that Trinidad and Tobago is one of the countries that has been put on a drought alert for this coming dry season.
He said: “If we are talking now in February the situation is that critical, and if we do not do something quickly, we are going to have a more challenging period than last dry season.”
The Chief Secretary said he will engage WASA to see what can be done to improve the island’s water supply. He is again calling on Tobagonians to conserve water.
“We the people have to do what can be done in order not to exacerbate the situation. We have to really control the use of water and we have to be parsimonious in the way in which we utilise water in the next many months because the situation is critical,” London said.
“I want to give the people the assurance that from the Tobago House of Assembly perspective we would be doing all in our power to encourage WASA to bring those wells on stream so that the situation can be alleviated.
“But we are reiterating our appeal to the people of Tobago that we too have a role to play in making sure we don’t make the situation worse.”