Amid claims that some residents are planning to protest over the prolonged water shortage affecting sections of Linstead in St. Catherine, one politician is appealing for residents to continue exercising patience, adding that the disruption in service is due to major improvement works underway.
Councillor for the Treadways Division, Sydney Rose, said the water shortage in places such as Whitehouse Housing Scheme, Charlemont Housing Scheme and parts of Treadways is due to the National Water Commission (NWC) being proactive in building a new water catchment system at Jericho district.
“Over time, we have not had enough water to serve the various communities. So, rather than the Water Commission being reactive, they were proactive. They are currently drilling a new well to extract additional water supply,” he explained.
“Hopefully this week they will be finish doing the drilling. They were over 475 feet down underground on Saturday; they have about 25 more feet to drill, then we will be able to pump water again. It is being pumped on and off now because, when the water is pumped during the process of drilling, the dirty water seeps into the current system that they are using. The drilling would have caused high turbidity, and so they have to lock down the system; they can’t pump.”
Rose however told The Beacon that the NWC has been trucking water to the affected communities.
“The residents have been getting water, but not as how they ought to be getting water, because of the financial constraints of the Water Commission in terms of hiring and delivering water through private trucks. The quota is 100,000 gallons per month. When that quota finish, they have to wait until the ministry release additional money for trucking. That is what is happening,” added Rose.
He said the NWC has been communicating the issues to members of the communities.
“There is no reason to block any road now because it is an improvement that is being put in place,” Rose further said.
In the meantime, some residents of Whitehouse Housing Scheme said they have not received any piped water from the NWC for about four months, adding that they are not benefiting from the entity’s trucking of the commodity.
One of those residents, Javon Barnes, told The Beacon that he had to purchase a tank of water a few days ago.
He explained that truck drivers charge $3,500 or more, depending on the size of their tanks.
“They may get water on and off in the Charlemont, Linstead and Ewarton area; we here in Whitehouse don’t have no water at all. Even if the truck comes here, it is not everybody getting water, because the truck man gives special people the water and then go through the scheme and leave. Some of the residents that are working; they don’t get time to get any water; I have to buy water the other day,” Barnes further said.
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