Bannister: Government will not disconnect WSC residential consumers

Bannister: Government will not disconnect WSC residential consumers
Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Works Minister Desmond Bannister last night assured that government will not disconnect residential consumers of the Water and Sewerage Corporation.

However, he maintained that there are many consumers who have the ability to pay and refuse to do so.

Bannister said: “The government is not going to discontent residential consumers. The chairman is very concerned and rightly so about keeping the corporation alive. There is nothing wrong with that. That’s his responsibility to the Bahamian people.

“What he was alluding to is the fact that there are so many people out there who can pay. Government is not going to disconnect ordinary residential consumers but any government has to be concerned when you do have people who are not paying and can pay. Those who can pay should pay.”

Bannister’s comments follow reports that WSC executive chairman Adrian Gibson was seeking Cabinet permission to restart disconnections of delinquent customers as the corporation is facing severe financial challenges.

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Davis yesterday pushed back against Gibson’s calls for the resumption of disconnections, arguing that to do so amid the COVID-19 pandemic would lead to a worsening of community spread.

In a statement, Davis noted that the Cabinet of The Bahamas made a policy decision to suspend WSC water disconnection exercises in the wake of the COVID-19.

Davis said the request by the corporation’s executive chairman “has to be seen as a moot point”.