BWA head: No square pegs in round holes
The state-owned Barbados Water Authority (BWA) will not be employing any more “square pegs in round holes.”
That declaration today from BWA chairman Dr Atlee Brathwaite who said the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) had come on board to assist it in putting the right people in place as part of a major restructuring project.
“We have an IDB project at the moment that is assisting us in looking at our organisational structure, looking at the type of personnel that is required to move us into a more productive phase,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“The IDB project also is assisting us to find the right type of what I would call skills fit for the organisation. We’re making sure we have the staff really to man the various operations we have. We want to get away from having square pegs in round holes in a time like now when you have a number of people coming out of universities.
“In terms of our manpower planning, we are making certain that we have people trained that would best really suit the organisation and push the organisation forward,” he added.
Noting that most agencies have to reduce staff in light of the current economic challenges, Dr Brathwaite suggested that productivity must therefore be considered.
“Of course we have the whole question of the sewage projects. We are looking to see to what extent we can improve those. Certainly, those are areas that we have to look at if we are concerned about the health of the nation. Also . . . to what extent we can use waste water for the production of food crops and that sort of things – the best use of waste water,” he said.
The BWA top official said the statutory body also has a major programme for the modernisation of the water system in Barbados.
He disclosed that while the authority has been losing substantial sums of revenue due to leaks, he expected the bottom line to improve as the agency installs new high tech metres, replaces ageing underground pipes, reduces its reliance on electricity from the Barbados Light & Power Company by introducing photovoltaic and other forms of alternative and renewable energy, and streamlining its accounting and financing mechanisms.
“Once you are losing water and water that cannot be accounted for, that is significant and we have to address that. A lot of the leakage comes from the poor and antiquated underground pipes. Also, of course, a lot of the metres that we used . . . don’t really perform as they ought to perform. That is why we are in the process of installing a whole set of modern metres that would be more efficient and will last a bit longer.”
He explained that such metres would place the BWA in a better position to more accurately record water use by consumers.
“Then of course we have to look critically at planning . . . These old statutory corporations never paid a lot of attention to a planning unit per se,” he said.
Dr Brathwaite also revealed that the BWA was holding discussions with a number of international agencies that would assist it in introducing projects to reduce its energy bill.