Rapid Response Water Unit, another failing of the PNP

The failure of the Rapid Response unit is yet another reminder of the failings of the longest servicing Minister of Water , Robert Pickersgill.

The RRU was created by Karl Blythe in 1999 as a short term measure to address the water supply problems affecting some parishes during the dry spell.   Fourteen years later we are being reminded about this short-term measure to address Jamaica’s long-term water supply problem.

In 2003 the government of the day said it was going to make major changes to the unit as a result of a damning report highlighted many problems with the unit.

Excerpts of the report

Other key recommendations of the KPMG Peat Marwick audit include:

* a complete overhaul of the management fleet, including a more structured relationship with the manufacturers of the units;

* negotiation to be initiated with marketing companies with respect to bulk purchasing of fuel;

* curtailment of overtime through the institution of more flexible work arrangements;

* rationalisation of the social water component of the programme;

* more aggressive marketing of the programme; and

* implementation of a number of specific control mechanisms to mitigate against fraud





The JLP closed down he unit in 2009 suggesting it was too costly to operate


June 21, 2013

STATE MINISTER for water, land, environment and climate change, Ian Hayles, has said his ministry is working feverishly to resurrect the Rapid Response Unit which was “in the grave” under the previous Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration.

Accusing the JLP of shutting down the unit, Hayles told his parliamentary colleagues that several trucks from the state-owned entity were given to other Government agencies, “leaving the employees and customers in limbo. In fact, of the 100 trucks belonging to the Rapid Response Unit, a mere 26 are currently operational.”

Discussing plans to transform the unit this year, Hayles said he would be leading a team to develop an effective and strategic business plan for rapid response. “Too long this unit has operated ‘willy-nilly’, and we need to focus, and redirect the activities so that the unit serves Jamaica, rather than being a burden to the taxpayers,” he said.

cost-cutting plan

The state minister also shared plans with his colleagues to cut cost at the cash-strapped entity. “One area [where] we can cut costs immediately, is in fuel for water delivery. By relocating loading bays closer to our drought-stricken customers, we will be able to save some 30-40 per cent on what we currently pay for fuel in the course of a year,” he said.


One year later, where are we.

Ian Hayles who appears to be becoming as incompetent as his boss Bobby Pickersgill was heard on CVM TV last night blaming the JLP for the lack of effective water distribution due to its shuttering of the RRU back in 2009 !

I had a good laugh at this piece of crap and felt sorry for those poor people to whom he was sending a message, which in my mind only serves to highlight his own failure.

Ian Hayles tell us what about your great plan which was announced in the sectoral debate more than a year ago ( maybe him figet it ).

This is what I talk about when I say we must hold these guys accountable.

Now is the RRU the way to go..?

Obviously it is not given the fact that since its introduction back in 1999 not much has changed as the PNP after over 23 yrs have failed to make any major improvement in the water collection and distribution process in most of the parishes across the country.

The current water crises once again highlights the gross incompetence of the Portia Simpson Miller led PNP government, which I lay the blame squarely on given the time they have spent at the crease.

I often wonder, what would have been the situation had the Yallahs Pipe Line had not been put in place in 1983!  Tsk Tsk.






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