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No backlash from World Bank says communications minister

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Contact: Shannon Lebourne


Wednesday, November 25, 2009, –  Minister for Public Utilities, Honourable Guy Joseph, says he is setting the record straight on government's decision to abort plans for the privatization of the island's only water company – WASCO.


Minister Joseph says contrary to a recent report in the media,  he does not anticipate any back lash from the World Bank as a result of government’s  decision to keep WASCO as a state-owned entity.


He says the government of Saint Lucia was well advised in its decision to abort the privatisation process.  Further, the minister says he has held talks with World Bank officials since the decision was taken,  and from all indications, Saint Lucia still enjoys a cordial relationship with the World Bank.



“As  far as I know, we still  have a  good  relationship with the World Bank. In fact, the International Financial Corporation (IFC), officials met with me last week because they are conducting a general  review in light of new revelations, in as far as the as the water sector is concerned,” minister Joseph said.


Minister Joseph says government’s latest move not to privatise WASCO, is in the short and long term interest of the people of Saint Lucia.


He says Saint Lucians stand to benefit more, now that WASCO will remain a state- owned entity.

“There are still many problems within the water sector that  we must address, but giving away the ownership of the water sector,   is not the  way to go. Because the same problems you are trying to resolve by doing so, you may have to face in the future. Once you  privatize, you cannot get out of it,” Joseph said.


Minister Joseph says the government of Saint Lucia is committed to making WASCO a viable entity.


He says government is presently weighing its options as it relates to the cash strapped entity,  but he assures that WASCO will remain in the hands of the government and people of Saint Lucia.

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