- NWC buckling under the pressure
Thousands of residents in several communities in Western Jamaica are clamouring for water as the National Water Commission continues to struggle to bring operational challenges at two of its major treatment plants in the region under control.
Residents in St. James, Hanover, Trelawny and even St. Ann, have been without the precious resource for just over two weeks and are at their wits’ end as there seems to be no immediate end in sight to their plight.
The parish of St. James has been the hardest hit with more than 20 communities impacted.
The Glendevon Primary and Junior High School in Montego Bay was forced to suspend classes on Monday because of a lack of water.
Tesha Pinnock, Community Relations Manager of the National Water Commission, Western Region, says the company has been experiencing operational challenges at the Great River Treatment plant in St. James and the Martha Brae Treatment plant in Trelawny, which are two of the primary water sources for Western Jamaica, hence so many communities in the four parishes have been severely impacted.
“We are therefore reporting that as a result, some customers in St. James, Hanover, Trelawny and St. Ann continue to experience either low water pressure or periods without water.”
The areas impacted in St. James are:
Queen’s Drive, Leaders Avenue, Mango Walk, Glendevon, Salt Spring, Brandon Hill, Rosemount, Cornwall Courts, Rose Heights, Farm Heights, Rose Mount Gardens, Rectory Drive, Catherine Mount, Albion, Anchovy, Childermas, Lethe, Spring Gardens, sections of Comfort Hall, Wiltshire, Guava Walk, Belmont, Greenwood, Rose Hall, Coral Gardens, Ironshore, Rhyne Park, Spot Valley, Cornwall, Mt. Zion, Palmyra, Saigon, Barrett Town, Providence and Norwood.
Cue, Elgin Town, Clifton, Middlesex, Bachelors Hall, Johnson Town, Lucea, Brisette, Hoist, Malcolm Heights, Cacoon, Dias, First Hill, Montpelier, Bamboo, McQuarrie, Woodland, Greenland and Blenheim.
Falmouth, Green Park, Schawfield, Silver Sands, Duncan’s Bay, Carey Park, Stewart Castle, Salt Marsh, Davis Pen, Stonebrook Vista, Florence Hall Village, Coral Spring, Village, Wiltshire, Hague, Hague Housing scheme, Hammersmith and Retreat Heights.
The explanation by the NWC’s community Relations Office has not gone down well with its customers.
“I don’t want to hear anything about Great River again, every year is the same thing. Dem must can do better than that. Is two weeks now we don’t have no water. No water in the pipe, the drums empty, every container me have empty, what am I supposed to do”? asked a disgruntled woman from the Glendevon community, one of several areas in Montego Bay impacted by lack of water.
Another disgruntled NWC customer, Shane Brown from Norwood in Montego Bay, said he and his family cannot bear it any longer as they have no water, and his two children may not attend school for the rest of the week as they have no clean uniform to wear.
“They cannot go to school because we have no water to wash their uniform. I have to go Bogue Village to ask friend to catch some water. We heard that water come last night but none was in our pipes, we did not get any. It cannot continue like this.”
The NWC, however, failed to give a timeline for when water supply will be restored to the affected communities.