On Monday May 4th, Miya Water, a world leader in water management efficiency, in partnership with the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA), organised a webinar to discuss how the Caribbean countries, and particularly the water industry, are weathering the challenges of COVID-19. The webinar, directed towards water and wastewater personnel operating in the utility sector, was followed live by more than 140 people and had more than 1,760 views on YouTube in less than 24 hours, with more than 4 million impressions on Twitter.
Wayne Williams, Executive Director of the CWWA and moderator for the event, introduced the webinar from Trinidad and Tobago and then spoke about Caribbean utilities, COVID-19 impact and responses. He presented the CWWA’s mission and vision, aims and objectives. While CAWASA is an association of utilities, CWWA is an association of professionals and practitioners. Both associations work together in the Caribbean region to promote the water, wastewater and waste sectors. His underlying message is that their services are essential and exempt from quarantine, while the demand for improved health and safety practices and procedures has increased. He noted that, while COVID-19 is a disaster, in the Caribbean there are environmental emergencies which look almost the same. He then described the impact on private contractors and governments which will see lower revenues, that will be directed to priority areas, which do not necessarily include the water and waste sectors. Mr Williams restated something other speakers also mentioned: “improving operational efficiencies becomes paramount”.