Water woes a heavy burden in Clarendon
Jamaica might be the land of wood and water, but there is precious little water in some communities in Clarendon.
At a recent Gleaner Growth Forum in May Pen, it was revealed that communities such as Kennedy Grove, Moores and Oliver Gardens had major challenges with water.
Clarendon Parish Development Committee (PDC) Chairman Ingrid Parchment said that, at almost every PDC meeting she has attended, the issue of water has been on the table.
"Currently, the water needs for residents are not sufficient. Water is a major issue," she said, adding that, if more expansion takes place there, the need for water will become more urgent.
May Pen District Area Committee President Lilliett Royal-Wright, who is a resident of one of the areas with a poor water supply -- Kennedy Grove Housing Scheme in Palmer's Cross - said there was a severe water situation there, with sections of the scheme out of water for days at a time.
"For the past four years, most residents have to truck water into the community," she said.
According to Royal-Wright, Kennedy Grove residents do not have the luxury of enjoying a backyard garden, as, over the years, plants and cash crops have all suffered because of the lack of water.
"Residents are unable to do backyard gardening or even have a green area at home. It impacts heavily on their finances as they have to pay to truck water," she said.
She said dialogue had been initiated with the National Water Commission in May Pen through letters, and the issue was also addressed at a recent town-hall meeting.
"After much tiresome discussions, a ray of hope was finally given with the installation of a valve which gave much ease to the community. However, the lower section of Palmer's Cross was without water. Now there is an arrangement which alternates the flow of water so that both communities can benefit," she said.