Tue | Sep 18, 2018

People's Report: Black River thirsty for NWC supply

Published:Saturday | June 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM

I reside in Black River, St Elizabeth, and I am a paying customer of the National Water Commission (NWC).

On Monday, May 26, 2015, I was advised by an engineer with a truckload of workmen from the NWC that residents would be without water for four days because they would engage in maintenance work for the area.

The supply was cut off on Tuesday, May 27, which means that we should have had water running from our taps on Saturday, May 30.

Another resident of the area contacted Jermaine Jackson, who is the water production manager at NWC, via email on Wednesday, May 27, because he was told another story that the service would be restored to the area in six days' time; that would bring the restoration date to Monday, June 1.

At the time of writing this letter on Tuesday, June 2, our taps are still dry, which means that we have been without water for seven whole days now, because it was reported that some NWC workers decided to strike in the process.

You can imagine that even customers who have large containers like the Rhino tanks are suffering, because there are multiple persons living in a household, and a tank of water for cooking, cleaning, bathing, washing and for other domestic purposes can only stretch so far.

It is even more burdensome on residents like myself who have no Rhino tanks, but have to resort to the conventional plastic drums that are shipped from overseas to store our water in. If it weren't for the little rain that fell on Saturday afternoon, we would have been worse off.

The NWC has been carrying on with slackness for years in Black River. They lock off the supply at least three times per week, without any notice to customers, even on an important day like Sunday, when the majority of customers are reasonably expected to be at home.

It appears that because Black River is not Kingston, the NWC feels that it has no obligation to adequately inform its customers when it is going to interrupt the supply and when it is expected to return.

I am calling on the Office of Utilities Regulation, and Robert Pickersgill who is the water minister, to immediately address this plight being faced by residents of Black River. We need water in our taps now!

Abigail F. Williams


Black River, St Elizabeth