Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Is NWC a law unto itself?

Published:Friday | May 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM


I was travelling to Kingston a few days ago from St Thomas when we came into the Windward Road area where National Water Commission (NWC) pipe/main works were being done. It was here we were caught in a huge pile-up of traffic that got worse when the tractor used to dump excavated material into the truck failed in the middle of the road, blocking both passages of traffic.

Thankfully, an alternative route was nearby, but this has got me to a pinnacle on an issue that has been ongoing for years: the coordination of the NWC and National Works Agency in roadworks and pipe maintenance and repairs.

I was watching TVJ's Prime Time News on Monday when I heard the public relations manager from the NWC speak on the matter, and there was something that bothered me afterwards: Was I the only person who realised that the NWC declared public autonomy by stating that it holds no obligation to answer to anyone before it carries out work?

To the Most Hon Andrew Holness, yes, I laud you for the great work that you have done with education (PEP, National Standards Curriculum, merger of the National Youth Service, Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning, and HEART, standardisation of secondary-school tenure (seven years), among others) in attempts to create a sustainable environment and society for development and growth.

My concern, however, is if infrastructurally there can't be an order of communication and a clear chain of command with government personnel and organisations, futuristically, it begs the obvious question: Who is really leading?