Councillor accuses NWC of water manipulation in Hanover
Councillor Easton Edwards of the Lucea division in the Hanover Municipal Corporation is accusing the National Water Commission (NWC) of manipulating the water-distribution system in and around Lucea to satisfy the requirements of the hotels in Negril, to the detriment of local consumers.
Speaking at the recent meeting of the Hanover Parish Disaster Committee, Edwards made reference to a major fire which occurred in the town of Lucea last Wednesday night into Thursday morning, which posed a significant challenge to firefighters before the system was manipulated to get water into the hydrants.
According to Edwards, he was at the scene of the fire and noticed that when the NWC was contacted, some amount of water-distribution pipe valve manipulations were done, which caused water to become available in the town, giving the clear impression that the absence of water in the town was a calculated act.
"Lucea is a town that is filled with board buildings. They (the firemen) did not have any water to carry out their responsibilities," he said, in regards to the situation prior to NWC's intervention.
"Earlier on in the day, we had problems with accessing water in the Lucea area. Now, [last Wednesday] night I realised that the people from NWC were able to go to different places and open the valves to make sure that we get water from Logwood."
Logwood is a major source in Hanover, from which NWC treats and distributes water across the parish to communities such as Lucea and Negril.
"It means that they (the NWC) are channelling the water to Negril to our visitors and friends as if they are priority," he charged.
While not seeking to downplay the importance of tourism, which provides jobs for scores of persons across the parish, he said locals are just as important as tourists and should not be treated otherwise.
"As they say, water is life, and I found out [last Wednesday] night that we can do better in terms of providing that valuable resource for the people of the country," said Edwards.