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Water & Sewerage is a ‘disaster’, turn it into a statutory body — Vanterpool

Former minister responsible for utilities, Mark Vanterpool.

Opposition legislator Mark Vanterpool has issued a call for the Water & Sewerage Department – an entity for which he had ministerial responsibility for the last eight years — to be made into a statutory body.

Contributing to the recently-concluded budget debate in the House of Assembly, Vanterpool made the call while suggesting that the department is not being operated well.

“I can’t blame anyone. I won’t blame myself alone either but Water and Sewerage is a disaster,” the former minister responsible for utilities said.

“[It’s] no fault of the workers, no fault of the people there but in terms of a strategy of what we are going to do there going forward with a utility such as Water & Sewerage, I think we need to come to the place where we can make a serious decision and make Water & Sewerage under a statutory organisation,” he added.

Becoming a statutory body would mean the department would now be run by a board and Vanterpool said there are benefits to his proposal.

“A statutory body can pay attention to [things] in terms of revenue, expenditure, engineering needs, in terms of supplying the people of this territory with water in the right way, in a fair way, in an equitable way,” Vanterpool argued.

Water shortages and crippling expenditure

The legislator further said he had grown tired of giving reasons to explain water shortages in areas such as Sea Cows Bay when he was the portfolio’s minister.

“We should be able in this day and age to get water throughout the territory on a consistent basis. Water & Sewerage need some engineers! Some help, some direction. It needs a board that they can sit with on a regular basis, and this board can pay attention to them as they should as a utility.”

“You will see in the record in our last set of Cabinet meetings that Water & Sewerage is recommended to go to a statutory level. Hopefully, we can pick up on that and make it possible because not only does it have an impact on us in the manner that we spoke about but it has a profound economic negative impact on the territory,” the opposition legislator added.

He continued: “Why is it that we are spending, I don’t know the number, but around $30 million on Water & Sewerage both on the department level and from the purchase of water maybe $22 or $23 million and it may be more than that for all I know, and we are only collecting $2 to $3 million, maybe $4 million maximum every year.”

He said the territory is losing almost a $100 million over a four-year period.

“Where is the revenue for the other $22 million that we bought? And I am not saying that we don’t have to make some subsidization of it because in every country that happens with water. But, there is no way the disparity should be between $24 million or $25 million,” he argued.


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  1. eyes says:

    Mark i back you on this one, something have to be done to much water being thief .

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  2. Two Cents says:

    Attached water and Sewage to BVI Electricity Corporation and rename it VI Electricity and Water Corporation.

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  3. 4th District voter says:

    This cannot be for real. This has to be a dream or a game because Mark was in charge of all of these things for years and did not improve them. Here he is now telling the government what to do. The question is why the hell he didn’t do it?

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    • Read says:

      Stop reading headlines and read the article. He clearly took accountability. They have had meetings according to him about it. It is a great recommendation.

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  4. Now now now says:

    I have lost all respect for this man.

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  5. weed um out says:

    Too many moomoos one place

  6. Wow says:

    It you and your special team have public works the complex water sewerage telecommunications how them is. When everything under you look like they failing you look to the one at the top. You is the failure.

  7. Listen says:

    Everything under you was a disaster. If you had let the divisions do their jobs, you and your crew, all those departments and units under your then ministry would have been much much better off. HMP

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  8. Heh Heh says:

    They need to get rid of the Director, she behaving like she is Hitler, treating the staff them like if them is dogs.

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  9. Diaspora says:

    Wat ah ting! Hon Mark “Action Man” Vanterpool, D-4 Rep and former MCW, for 8 consecutive years Water and Sewage Department fell under his ministerial portfolio. And by his own admittance, it was an abject failure. Some of the failure of the water system was deliberate and self-inflicted. Under the VIP government, BI-water, a controversial project, was rolled out. It was not a perfect system but it was a good start. Nonetheless, the NDP government for political reasons was hell bent on seeing it failed. Looking back during the 2011 campaign, the BI-water water system temporarily shut down and the Action Man could not control his emotions. He was so excited that he loudly shouted out almost with glee, “Bi-water bruk down.” Go to the tape.

    The Action Man has no credibility on this issue. As the MCW, he had the opportunity and obligation to build out the distribution system to completely accept the 2.5MGD that taxpayers were paying for and BI-Water was contractually obligated to deliver. He failed to deliver and the water delivery is still unreliable. Water is still a challenge for too many residents. During his less than successful tenure as MCW, he proposed to merge BVIEC and Water/Sewage. He also send home the current director and had to call her back. Odd.

    Nevertheless, water and sewage is a royal mess but the solution is not renaming it a statutory body. It can and should function effectively as a Department. All it needs is some structural adjustments, ie, organizing, planning, design, directing……etc leadership/management…….etc. The BOT ( Build-Operate-Turnover) agreement for water production is nearing the end so is government ready to take over the operation?

    Will the company turn over a piece of junk or is government on the ball to ensure that the plant is in good shape before accepting it. What is the plan for operating and maintaining the water plant? Again, the territory boasts of having a $1, 000,000,000.00 gross domestic product (GDP) and a $414M Operations and Maintenance/Capital budget but what is the taxpayers getting and what the territory has to show for it?

    Moreover, water is in bad shape but sewage is equally or worst shape. Public is exposed to raw sewage running on the ground or in channels. The scent in some instances is breath taking. Most of the territory is on undersize, poorly constructed and poorly maintained septic systems. The sewage system too is overdue for a major structural and comprehensive overhaul. Many of the functions, processes……etc are a victim of the political structure. People are being put in charge of stuff they have no clue about but beat their chests that all is well. All is not well. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. BVI, there is a problem.

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  10. Funny Stuff says:

    Now that Mark is no longer a Minister, he suddenly has all the answers, even for things that he was responsible for….You gotta love this guy….

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  11. Truth says:

    Water & Sewerage can’t sustain itself to statutory What they need to do is move that clueless woman. Get somebody who actually knows what they doing. That woman holding the holding territory hostage. Everybody knows she dont knows what she doing yet Government refuse to move her. For Christ sake!!

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  12. :) says:

    This is the problem with rewarding failure over and over again. Mark was the minister in charge of Public Works, Water and Sewage, Telecommunications and the one thing that they all had in common is failure and poor services. From the slow and unreliable internet, the constant patch up to pot hole cycle in the roads after a rain shower to the daily guessing game of when will water be on for years all were a part of his portfolio. His district was a double failure as the sewage ran in the streets in the heart of Road Town. Mark could have easily recommend these “solutions” to his brother in law and then Premier anytime during the last 8 years. These are not new problems. These problems didn’t pop up after he resigned and begged to be sworn in. If Water and Sewage is a disaster Mark contributed by not holding anyone accountable or doing something about it as a member of cabinet for 2 terms.

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  13. Smh says:

    The only how to get proper roads is to fix all the water leaks under ground and put in proper pipes department need help they don’t even have water meters in stock or materials needed to fix curtain jobs island need ah full leak detection

  14. Renter says:

    The theft of water is rampant. My landlord hooked into a tap illegally and fills his pool, waters his yard and fills the cistern using a device called a “water bandit”. I know many more doing the same. So much theft of water no wonder the huge gap.

  15. Systematic approach. says:

    Water and sewage will never have the resources to overhaul the distribution system all at once. Start with a annual budge and start replacing the old distribution system in a systematic way with the appropriate size pipes. At the same time put problems get the sewer lines in for these two the sewage lines in place too. Lets be objective, East End and RT areas are the two major sewage areas. Sea Cows bay have the worst water distribution system, lets start there. West End then the others can follow eventually. Therefore over 3-4 year budget period you would have substantially improved the overall system. But you need people with a vision to lead and get a qualified civil engineer on board please. For years this management was repairing pipes every month in sea cows bay over a two hundred meter stretch and it did not occur to them to replace the pipes in that area, They just repair a big leak in the same area in Sea Cows Bay but guest what there is another leak down the road at Hannah’s even before they found that one in Sea Cows Bay, and it is still not repaired so there are now two large potholes around the corner.

  16. promise says:

    Every Consultant that try to work with water & sewerage ends up running for the hills. The Department needs help but they fight change at every turn so the consultants get frustrated and leave.

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