Letter To Editor: WASA $6.7B Deficit in 4 Years (2016 to 2019)

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Dear Editor,

The April 2018 and June 2022 Regulated Industries Commission, (RIC) Report, profiles the WASA scandal in a way that should call Minister Gonzales and the WASA Chairman Nanga to attention. Has the Minister or Chairman studied, considered, or even understood the critical contents and structured recommendations of these RIC Reports?

Water is a critical public amenity and is a human right! It must be managed efficiently and prudently, yet it is not. Based on the RIC facts, is an internal restructuring advised if it is by the same people who are drowning WASA?


The 2022 RIC Report states: from 2016 to 2019 WASA had a $6.7 billion deficit and consumed 4% of our National Budget and yet our nation still does not have “water for all”.

With an abundance of rivers and rainfall, we are paying friends and family for desalinated manmade water almost $1.5 million per day! ($527.74 million in 2019) and yet everywhere you turn water is wasting.

It is suspicious that the RIC omitted a comparative analysis of staffing per 1,000 connections that was included in the 2018 report. That 2015 RIC report showed that WASA has three times more staff than “is regarded as good practice for a well-managed water utility in developing countries” such as our impoverished, mismanaged, Dutch diseased banana republic. Where is Minister Gonzales?


Even though WASA has had a decrease of 104 staff, their wages increased $29 million and is still overstaffed… yet only 59% of the population received a scheduled supply of water, “Despite efforts to either replace portions of and/or expand the network, pipe network performance remains well below international best practices… The high incidence of pipe breaks is indicative of WASA’s inability to maintain and replace aged infrastructure.” Chairman Nanga is silent.

Imagine in 2023 a country with an abundance of riverine resources and rainfall, with trillions of oil and gas extracted, 11% of our households still utilize pit latrines. Is the Government making us a laughingstock?


The report outlines an escalating deficiency of unbilled authorised consumption, technical and commercial losses (Non-Revenue Water-NRW) which is now 53% in 2019 while 31% of water service complaints are unaddressed or unresolved.  The NRW is an indicator assessing the efficiency of a water utility and our NRW commercial losses are 100% more than the international standard. While over three hundred thousand (20%) of our citizens are below the poverty index, WASA continues to operate at the same low level of efficiency despite lavish restructuring and extravagant 3-month plans.

Both Minister Gonzales and  Chairman Nanga are attorneys who have no business management experience and yet have been appointed to run an essential utility that is losing $4,472,767 million every single day – based on the 2019 deficit of $ 1.6 billion. Are Attorneys management experts?

Unqualified appointees, corruption and nepotism are killing us. We must appoint the best minds to save these drowning utilities.

Gary Aboud
Corporate Secretary
Fishermen and Friends of the Sea


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