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Need for a WASA master plan
The damage done to a key 48-inch water main running near the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway raises several questions. The most immediate is the need for clear understanding of how routine road expansion work by a government contractor could lead to damage to a water main that supplies almost half of the country’s population.
WASA’s quick public relations response and vigorous repairs are commendable, but the scale of the disruption points to larger infrastructural issues that the utility is still to address properly. This week, the cost of repairs will be evaluated and a bill handed over from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources to the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure.
But even if the contractor can be held responsible for the broken pipeline, the sum won’t ever recover the lost productivity and general inconvenience that the loss of water for several days brought to citizens along the East-West Corridor.
The incident points to the need for greater redundancy in the planning of WASA’s water supply systems as well as the importance of developing more catchment and distribution spots throughout the country. There is a longstanding need for WASA to assess the structural integrity of its distribution system and to craft a plan to replace the unnecessarily wasteful and rapidly deteriorating pipelines laid more than six decades ago.