Water and street-lamp woes irk residents
Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU: RESIDENTS OF Retire-ment Phase 2 in St James are calling on their political representatives to respond to their request for regular water supply and street lamps in the area.
The residents say West Central St James' Member of Parliament Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams and Councillor Michael Troupe of the Granville division need to move swiftly to correct the problems which have been plaguing them now for more than two years.
"We have little or no street lights ... the water system is so irregular," said Courtney Morrison, a resident of the area. "... sometimes three weeks on end we have no water ... when we do get some, we have to pinch it, and when that finish, we have to call a private contractor to sell us water to fill our tanks, which costs $6,000 a time. We can't afford it."
Another resident of the area, Millicent Cunningham, bemoaned the recent shooting death of prominent resident Vivian Fletcher who was killed by gunmen under the cloak of darkness.
"The street lights are urgently needed. The good man was shot and killed and we have not heard anything about it since," said Cunningham. "People go to work and return late and have to find their way home in the dark. We are living in modern times, those days should be over ... it is too dangerous for us to travel, especially at nights."
can't do much
Meanwhile, in responding to the complaints of the residents, Troupe said the entire Retirement area is in need of approximately 50 street lamps. However, he added that he was not in a position to do much at this time.
He further indicated that the greater part of the area is largely unplanned development and those occupying the Operation Pride Scheme have not been paying for the land monthly as required, which limits the funds available to deal with the light situation.
"I had six street lamps installed about six months ago, which is just a drop in the bucket," explained Troupe. "... but I am making continuous requests for street lamps ... the main problem is a lack of funds to acquire them."
In the interim, Troupe said he was in the process of having some other street lamps relocated from another area in the division to Retirement. He said he was awaiting another 15 street lamps from Local Government Minister Noel Arscott.
Speaking to the water issue, Troupe said while pipes have been installed in the area, the households have not been metered, so they are not connected to the National Water Commission's system, for which they are not qualified.
Troupe said he has made numerous requests to the National Water Commission to visit the area, but, despite his efforts, the company is yet to show up. However, he said that he expects water supply relief to some areas of the division soon.