KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Former Manager of the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) Daniel Cummings believes that the company should have asked the government to increase its subvention as Vincentians next month begin paying more for its services.
“Mr. [Garth] Saunders, you should have asked the government to consider adjusting it rates,” Cummings, an opposition legislator, said at a press conference last week.
Cummings’ statement came one day after the CWSA announced that Vincentians will in February begin paying at least EC$5 more per month for water and solid waste management.
The government is expected to pay the CWSA EC$1.4 million annually for water used at state facilities.
However, the state owes the CWSA just under EC$3 million, according to manager Garth Saunders, who said that the CWSA has not asked the government to increase its subvention even as other consumers pay more.
“The government has not thought it fit to increase its payment for 10 or so years, or more,” Cummings said, noting that the government has been paying EC$1.4 million a year since in the early 1990s.
He said that the government must pay its “reasonable share” for the CWSA’s services.
According to Cummings, the government consumes an estimated 35 to 40 per cent of the water supplied by the CWSA but pays only 9 per cent of its revenue.
According to Saunders, the actual cost of the water supplied to Government is between EC$4 million and EC$5 million.
Cummings told reporters that the government is billed for water at rates that are as low as 40 per cent of what other consumers pay.
At market value, the water the CWSA supplies to government facilities, would amount to approximately EC$10.5 million, Cummings said.
This is in addition solid waste management service, he noted.
If the government were to pay only 50 per cent of this, the CWSA would be more than able to operate normally, Cumming further stated.