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The Rapid Response Unit is projecting to earn $156.97 million this fiscal year, which is 10 per cent more than the $142.7 million earned in 2004/05.
Minister of State for Water and Housing, Harry Douglas made this disclosure during his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 20.
He noted that the increased earnings should come from the improved maintenance structure, with 70 operational units being made available on a consistent basis to satisfy the demand for potable water.
Meanwhile, the State Minister informed that the Unit had realized savings of $3.5 million per annum from the reduction of its management structure from 11 to nine persons. The restructuring of the management team was one of the recommendations of the Management Audit, which was designed to improve the overall operations of the Unit.
He noted that the introduction of a Fleet Maintenance Manager to the management team has seen greater emphasis being placed on the quality of maintenance. “It has become mandatory for the Fleet Manager along with officers from the National Works Agency to check and certify all maintenance work and the rates charge for work done before payment is made,” he explained. Mr. Douglas further informed that the restructuring exercise at the level of drivers and pump operators has been completed.
“This exercise was also used to rationalize the deployment of our resources to better meet the needs and demands in the various regions,” he told the House. A total of 26 drivers were employed in April 2005 after successfully completing training at the Advanced Driver Training Centre.
The State Minister also highlighted the crucial role that the Rapid Response Unit played in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. “The Unit was .able to respond immediately after the passage of the hurricane, delivering water to hospitals, shelters, police stations, chicken farmers and other critical governmental institutions. This timely response had serious implications for health and sanitation issues,” he pointed out.
He noted that the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) had duly recognized this effort.