Tue | Oct 16, 2018

St Thomas residents protest over lack of water

Published:Wednesday | August 29, 2018 | 3:56 PMShanna kaye Monteith
File photo

Residents of St Thomas are calling for an end to water woes which have plagued various communities in parish for over a decade.

Scores of placard-bearing protesters gathered in Yallahs this morning to highlight the issue.

Among the communities in the Yallahs area which are without water are Newland, Catholic Lane, Pondside and Hillside.

Other areas include East Albion, Patoo Gully in Pear Tree River and Navar Lane in Seaforth.

Speaking with The Gleaner jerk vendor Clifton ‘Layne’ Layneous said it has been very hard to support his business because of the lack of water.

“It's been over 10 years since I don't have any running water in my pipe. Sometimes we have to depend on truck or I have to take my own vehicle and transport water to and from and it's very difficult to go all the way up just to get water and water is all around us.

“Sometimes when my vehicle breaks down and I’m unable to go get water it puts me out of business for days,” he said, adding that he is often forced to sell his animals because he has no water to feed them.

In the meantime, the Member of Parliament for Western St Thomas James Robertson is calling for the National Water Commission (NWC) to address the water concerns in the parish.

“The NWC needs to perform. They can’t tell us for 20 years about same problems with no solution. They can’t still be telling us in 2018 that tanks are empty or that they are in need of two lengths of pipes or a pump. Billions are being spent by NWC on many things but we’re not seeing it.”

Robertson said he is prepared, with the backings of those in St Thomas, to lead a call for the change in leadership of the water company should the pleas go unaddressed.

“Come to the table or  we are going to lead a call against you. They are going to have to give us a delivery deadline and they are going to have to hold to it. NWC, staff yourself with people who love their jobs or Jamaica is going to turn on you,” he said.

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