While stating that water will be trucked to residents of Orangefield in his St. Catherine North West constituency, Member of Parliament Hugh Graham said the National Water Commission (NWC) has promised to complete improvement works to the area’s water supply system within four weeks.
He met with residents at Orangefield Community Centre on Monday shortly after they, in calling for better roads and potable water, blocked a section of the major thoroughfare connecting Linstead and Ewarton towns. Chairman of the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation, Norman Scott, also attended the meeting.
Graham told The Beacon that the trucking of water would have commenced Tuesday.
“The agreement that we came to is that, in the interim until they get the water [system up and running within four weeks], the NWC would start trucking water. The St. Catherine Municipal Corporation, through the mayor [Norman Scott], also committed to trucking some water as well,” he disclosed.
Graham further explained: “Up to the [Orangefield] Community Centre has water. Beyond the community centre to Orangefield itself, that’s where there is no water. That’s where the trucking will take place – from the centre up to the square, down to Negro House, Waggy, Gulf… They should be getting at least four loads of water per day.”
Graham said the trucks sent by NWC would serve residents on the main road in Orangefield, adding that a man called Tim who is contracted by the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation would serve people living in the lanes.
Residents should not pay for the water being trucked under the arrangement, Graham added.
In a statement yesterday, the parliamentarian also said he is pleased that the NWC has provided a three-point plan that will lead to improvement in potable water supply in Orangefield.
He explained that the NWC’s plan includes the commissioning of a newly dug well to provide 2.5 million gallons of water per day, the commissioning of newly installed pumps to ensure water reaches hilly areas, and the completion of interconnection works.
According to the NWC, its teams are in the final stages of certification of the electrical systems to facilitate improved pumping, Graham added.
He also said he sympathizes with the citizens “who have been patient over a long time with the substandard service from the existing Jericho water supply system” that has become inadequate due to increased demand.
Graham said he is relieved that the NWC has set out a clear plan and timeline for the citizens to get adequate water, adding that he will hold the agency to its commitments, which he intends to widely publicize.
In relation to the road that partly caused the protest, the parliamentarian said: “The National Works Agency called me and they have committed to look at the road, especially the part from Jericho up to the [Orangefield Community Centre]. That part has water and so they know that the pipe there is not leaking and so they can fix that part of the road.”
Graham, on Wednesday, also disclosed that the relevant agency and contractor visited the road. He added the team was “scoping the road, with a view to starting repairs immediately”.
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