Mon | Oct 26, 2020

Flower Hill residents get running water after 30-year wait

Published:Saturday | August 8, 2020 | 12:21 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) and Heroy Clarke (left), member of parliament for St James Central, participate in an official ceremony to operate a water-supply scheme in Flower Hill, St James, on Friday, August 7. Looking on is Montego Bay Mayor H
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) and Heroy Clarke (left), member of parliament for St James Central, participate in an official ceremony to operate a water-supply scheme in Flower Hill, St James, on Friday, August 7. Looking on is Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis, chairman of the Rural Water Supply Company.

WESTERN BUREAU:

After approximately 30 years without access to running water in their homes, residents of Flower Hill, St James, are now singing praises following an official ceremony commissioning a supply system in the community on Friday.

The water supply system, valued at J$110 million, was executed by Rural Water Supply as one of 80 projects done so far this year to bring potable water to communities across Jamaica.

Some of the residents of Flower Hill who had grown up without running water in the community could not hide their gratitude when speaking with The Gleaner following the ceremony, which was attended by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and several other dignitaries.

Hortense Walker, a 67-year-old resident, said that the water was welcome after years of having to purchase the commodity for use at home.

“We have to buy water, or beg a little water, and up to Sunday gone (August 2), I had no water and had to beg for some,” said Walker.

Another resident, Llewelyn Cunningham, expressed gratitude and wished for water to be distributed to other surrounding areas in need.

“I ask the Lord to bless and keep the water, because right throughout Flower Hill, we want the water, and not Flower Hill alone, but all around we need the water,” Cunningham said.

During the 1990s, upgrades were done on the Montego Bay water distribution system, and the Great River water supply system was commissioned. The two systems provided water for Flower Hill via pumping stations in the adjoining community of Salt Spring, but that supply did not last long.

Addressing the residents during the ceremony, Holness said that the residents deserved to have readily accessible water in the modern era.

“We should reach the point where everybody has potable water, meaning water that you can drink and use to do your domestic chores with, in your homes. To wait 30 years to turn the tap in your yard and see water, we understand it. Water is life,” said Holness.