WASCO responds to Richard Frederick’s statement on ‘Can I Help You’ program

WASCO responds to Richard Frederick’s statement on ‘Can I Help You’ program

(PRESS RELEASE) – WASCO has been made aware of an MBC Television Saint Lucia broadcast dated February 20, 2020 with Mr. Richard Frederick concerning the tender process for the John Compton Dam De-silting (JCD)Project more particularly the Sediment Disposal Area (SDA).

This broadcast stated that WASCO prepared a list for prequalification criteria and that only one company, owned by Rayneau Gajadhar, prequalified as this was the only company in the country that possessed the equipment to carry out the earthworks. It was further inferred that over two (2) months after the deadline of submissions WASCO was instructed to write to Mega Constructing Inc. asking it to submit a tender.

WASCO would like to again inform the public as we did in our press release of January 31st 2019 that these statements are unfounded and patently false.

The Broadcast also stated that Mega Contracting Inc. being unable to execute the project alone had to engage a foreign company VINCI, despite WASCO insisting that the bids were open to local contractors only.

WASCO would like to make it pellucid, that there is no joint venture or legal consortium between Mega Contracting Inc. and any other company for the purposes of Phase 1 of the JCD project and in responding to the tender.

Therefore, Mega Contracting Inc. qualified as a local contractor and they were not bidding with a foreign company since they were allowed to be in free enterprise to retain the services of suitably qualified experts. As a result WASCO would like to again proclaim that the John Compton Dam Phase 1 (SDA) was done through a competitive bidding process and was only opened up to local contractors and indeed a local contractor, Mega Contracting was successful and the lowest competitive bidder.

It was also asserted that the works of the SDA had stopped since September 2019 and that the SDA was in a total mess. These unfortunate aspersions again are inaccurate as the project is ongoing on the SDA to date despite the challenges of excessive moisture in the field material and abnormal weather patterns. In fact, the overall project completion of the SDA is at 86% and WASCO expects the project to be substantially completed by the contractor within two (2) months barring any unforeseen circumstances. Nonetheless, WASCO, is committed to do all within its power to ensure the successful completion of same notwithstanding ongoing challenges that WASCO has publicly expressed.

Furthermore, and erroneously, the Broadcast stated that WASCO “permitted irregular manoeuvres, . . . that may approximate corrupt practices to step in. Today folks that project is in such a mess . . . that it is reported that the earthworks may, . . . be responsible for the damaged pipes and by extension the shortages we may be experiencing.”

WASCO would like to elucidate that the breaks experienced during the last week were not caused by the construction of the SDA as the pipelines which were damaged in Cul De Sac and Vanard are far removed and not connected to the area where the SDA is being constructed. Indeed, it is unfortunate that WASCO experienced these unexpected breaks due to unforeseen circumstances. However, WASCO’s staff worked heroically over many nights in snake infested areas to repair these breaks which were in some instances 20 feet deep, so as to restore pipe borne water to residents in the least possible time.

In relation to the statements made on the provision of water to golf courses in Cap Estate, WASCO would like to inform the public that it only supplies treated wastewater to proposed clients interested in this service. In that regard, presently an existing client, at their expense, has a dedicated pipeline from the Waste Treatment Plant at Beausejour, Gros-Islet to Cap Estate with relevant pumps and associated equipment, which were procured for irrigating the golf course.

In fact the treated wastewater meets certain guidelines as approved by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO). This service is separate and apart from the provision of portable water being supplied to the residents of Cap Estate, which has always met and exceed the standards set by WHO and the Ministry of Health. WASCO also conducts regular testing of its water supply throughout Saint Lucia. Therefore the aspersions made by Mr. Frederick are totally inaccurate and is meant to malign the reputation of WASCO.

It is advised that in the future persons seek to refrain from making speculative statements and first obtain accurate information from WASCO to ensure that the facts are disseminated to the public at all times. WASCO is of the view that these statements were made by Mr. Frederick to instil fear in the minds of listeners and were intended to tarnish the image of the Company, its Board of Directors, Management and its Staff and by extension the Government and people of Saint Lucia.

Finally, WASCO requests that the inaccurate statements made during this broadcast are retracted forthwith as failure to do so will result in WASCO taking the necessary legal steps to obtain redress.


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