Tue | Apr 24, 2018

Inside the Municipal Corporations | Angry St Catherine councillors flood NWC with complaints about their water

Published:Saturday | February 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer
In this file photo, Everton Petgrave shows that there's not a drip of water in the pipe. He said there has been no water in the pipes from December of last year in Point Hill, St Catherine.
In this 2017 photo, a resident of Treadegar Park, St Catherine, is complaining about the water problem in the community.
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Councillors attending Thursday's general meeting of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation vented their disgust with the National Water Commission (NWC) over what they say is a severe water crisis affecting sections of the parish.

Councillors for the Guy's Hill and Sligoville divisions were unable to control their emotions as they appealed to NWC Parish Manager Calvert Davis to address the situation, pointing to the severity of the problem going back to last year.

Guy's Hill councillor, Leroy Dunn, accused the commission's employees in his division of playing politics with water and requested that they be removed from his division.

 

'READY TO ACT'

 

"The people in my division are ready to act, and I will not be able to control them. There is a clear political game being played by the men who have been working in the area for many years," the visibly angry Dunn told the NWC parish manager, who was at the meeting to deliver his report.

"Water is life, and the people in my division have been suffering for more than a year. They are angry, and they are prepared to act because they feel that they are being sabotaged," he said.

His assertions did not sit well with his colleague councillor, Courtney Edwards, who stood on a point of order and demanded a retraction, saying that the comments that the people were ready to act were inappropriate.

The Guy's Hill councillor withdrew the part of his comment that was considered offensive but maintained that he would not be able to control the actions of residents.

 

'The residents of Sligoville are upset. I am upset'

 

Dwight Burke, the Sligoville councillor, was also agitated, declaring that nothing was being done to give the residents in his area regular running water.

"The residents of Sligoville are upset. I am very upset. I was getting calls on Christmas Day from residents who have not had regular running water for months.

"This is disgraceful! We are demanding that the NWC address the problem without any further delay!" Burke said.

NWC Parish Manager Calvert Davis then accepted the decision of the meeting to invite a senior officer from the commission's head office to attend a meeting of the corporation on Thursday to address the councillors' concerns.

Davis said that he was unable to give any definitive response to the councillors' concerns, so it would be best if they sought answers at a higher level.

Mayor Norman Scott then requested that all the other councillors who were experiencing similar issues with irregular water supply in their divisions document their concerns.