New Providence, Bahamas – The health and safety of employees and the wider public has always been a priority for Miya Bahamas. In 2012, with the aid of an IDB sponsored loan, Miya Bahamas set out to improve the efficiency and quality of potable water service provision and address critical sewerage needs in New Providence. 2019 marked the 7th year of the contract and saw the company meet and surpass a series of major company milestones as was recently noted by the Minister of Works, MP Desmond Bannister.
Over the life of the contract thus far, Miya Bahamas has replaced thousands of faulty service connections; disconnecting thousands of illegal and dormant accounts; implementing a comprehensive and affordable maintenance plan, and installing cutting edge equipment for monitoring and controlling the water supply. As of 2019, the island-wide improvement plans reduced the amount of non-revenue water loss, while also improving water pressure, and water quality cutting water losses from 6.87 to 2.01 million imperial gallons per day.
As countries around the world continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has stepped up its efforts, introducing additional measures designed to not only protect its team members – all of whom have been kept on with their full salaries – and ensuring that interaction with the public is limited. Miya is still deploying its staff in the field on a daily basis for proactive leak detection, maintenance on non-revenue water assets previously installed, and working to assure correct pressure management with the Water and Sewerage Company.
“When curfew and lockdown conditions were introduced in mid-March, our first order of business was to obtain government clearance for our 18 staff members to continue their work,” explained Miya Bahamas Project Manager, Mario Tavera. “With the assistance of the Water & Sewerage Corporation we were able to secure that approval, but we knew that additional measures would need to be taken in order to maintain our commitment to health and safety.
”As required by the government’s emergency orders, the company immediately sourced masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for its staff complement – all of which were sourced through local providers. The use of such PPE’s has been instrumental in ensuring the safety of employees who continue to carry out fieldwork using smaller teams in an effort to adhere to social distancing protocols.
“Following mandated emergency orders and regulations, we’ve reduced the size of our field teams but we’ve also made some changes to the way those teams are allowed to operate,” Tavera said. “This has meant limiting contact with customers’ property and also shifting our focus to the remote maintenance of the assets as much as possible.
”Tavera was very proud of his staff who have all stepped up to work and have changed to this new routine with no issues. “As more and more people are relying on their water supply in the fight against COVID-19, our contingency plan which relies on remote monitoring gives precedence to areas which require immediate attention.
”As quarantine conditions remain in effect, Miya plans to remain committed to its employees and its client, WSC, to maintain this essential service. “We are prepared and will continue to adjust our contingency plans to ensure minimal impact from COVID-19 moving forward.”