A portion of the freshly paved Ariapita Avenue, excavated by WASA.

[email protected]

Minister of Public Utilities Robert Le Hunte came to the defence of the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) following a public outcry after the authority was seen excavating a freshly paved Ariapita Avenue on Thursday night.

According to Le Hunte, the work was necessary to return a water supply to an establishment along the popular liming hub after the supply line was damaged in the repaving process.

Earlier this week the Ministry of Works and Transport conducted a massive road paving exercise along Ariapita Avenue.

However, images emerged on social media of WASA excavating the roadway, much to the disappointment of the public.

However, Le Hunte said the weight of the equipment conducting the roadworks compressed the customer’s water supply line and this was compounded by the ageing infrastructure which WASA has been grappling with for years.

“Accidents will happen and as a result of that we will find ourselves from time to time, in spite of the best management we are putting in place we will find this situation happening,” he said.

“WASA came, they spoke to the Ministry of Works. Immediately they agreed among themselves that they would…go ahead and fix the problem, restore the water supply to the business…and that the pavers recognising the factors associated with it, they would come back as the work has not been 100 per cent completed and restore the work.”

He assured the remedial works would not “be done at an additional cost”.

The minister also indicated that they intend to revisit previous excavation works around the country which has not been repaved.

However, he admitted the issue they face is “finding the necessary funding to fix the leaks and restore the roads”.

Asked why doesn’t the authority use the paving works as an opportunity to replace its ageing infrastructure, Le Hunte said: “That is not always possible because of the cost associated with that”.

In light of this, he indicated both WASA and the Ministry of Works keep a close working relationship.

Le Hunte indicated that within the past two weeks, WASA has been able to fix some 2,200 leaks throughout the country in preparation for the dry season.

He now puts the number of leaks around the country at 800; a figure he said is the lowest the country has ever seen.