Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Victoria Town residents Call for an End to Water Woes

Published:Thursday | March 2, 2017 | 3:00 AMTamara Bailey

VICTORIA TOWN, Manchester:

It was out of anger and frustration that the residents of Victoria Town and surrounding communities took to the streets to protest the unavailability of piped water in their areas recently.

According to Member of Parliament (MP) Michael Stewart, the pump has been down since December and the National Water Commission (NWC) is yet to replace it.

"It shouldn't be taking 10-12 weeks for a pump which broke down at the NWC level, to be fixed. That is too long, water is life," Stewart said.

He added: "I have had several meetings with them and I was assured that the pump would have been installed from the past weekend. We just have to keep our fingers crossed that the NWC will soon have the pump up and running."

Among the persons significantly impacted by the water crisis are the teachers and students of Victoria Town Primary School.

"When we came back to school in January, we did not have any piped water. We got some from the MP, the water commission and Jamalco, but we have not been able to do all we need to do," said a representative from the institution.

"The school had to be closed for a day. We had to close early twice last week; our breakfast programme has been impacted because we do not have enough water to cook for the children. We couldn't start it in January, and we were only able to do it for the two weeks that have passed," she revealed.

PUMP RESTORATION

The residents received dates for pump restoration from the NWC, but they have all expired.

"The plant has been out for just over a month. We are planning to start installation on Tuesday. We had to purchase a motor and cable from overseas, so it took us a while to them. By Friday of this week, residents should have water," said Lester Morgan, water production manager at the NWC.

Councillor for the Grove Town division, Iceval Brown, whose areas have also been impacted by the lack of water, said the NWC has a responsibility to disseminate clear messages to residents.

"NWC should have gone in and have a meeting with the people, because they are the ones doing the work and they know what is what. Although I don't agree with the blocking of the roadway, you can't blame the people for protesting. People are suffering and they need water."

Stewart is pleading to persons who can assist with the distribution of water, while work is being done to the pump, to do so immediately.

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