Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Councillor wants water pipes installed to help fight COVID-19

Published:Monday | April 6, 2020 | 12:09 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

WITH PERSONAL hygiene being highlighted as one of the tools in the fight against the new coronavirus, COVID-19, Marvell Sewell, councillor for the Green Island division in the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), is appealing for the pipelines which have been laid across his division for over five years to be commissioned into service.

Continuous handwashing and other personal hygienic practices are being promoted by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, as a means of preventing the contraction of the dreaded coronavirus disease. The availability of potable water poses a problem for residents in some deep rural areas to carry out those practices.

The Gleaner has learned that the HMC has to be trucking water to several districts across Hanover, to assist residents in the deep rural parts of the parish to maintain good hygiene practices.

“My main concern is that if they could just commission the pipeline from March Town to Cave valley, it would be easier for me in the trucking of water within the division, because I would have less areas to which I have to truck water,” Sewell told The Gleaner in an interview.

He said that the over five miles of pipeline, which have been laid in the ground for some five to six years now, was never commissioned into service by the National Water Commission (NWC). It has water in it, but residents are not allowed to make connections to the pipeline.

“If we get that Cave Valley line commissioned, which runs from Logwood to March Town to Cave Valley and on to Mount Airy, most of the water distribution problems in that area would be solved,” the councillor stated.

WILLING TO PAY

Sewell argued that several hundred residents are now without potable water in their homes because of the non-commissioning of the pipeline, even though they are willing to pay for the service.

“I have asked about it and I was told that the contractor has not covered the pipeline, but it was covered with marl and was to be asphalted, but subsequent rainfall washed out the marl in some areas,” he pointed out, adding that the pipeline was laid before he was elected as the councillor for the division.

“The worst thing about it is that the NWC does not come to any meeting at the HMC, they do not come to hear our problems,” said Sewell.

“I am pleading for help for those people. It is unfair, because the line is there and the residents are willing and ready to pay for the connection,” he pointed out.

Sewell named areas such as Cave Valley, Mount Airy, Top March Town, Mountainside Road, Bowen Pasture, Chain Road, Top Santoy, Felix Town, Well Road, North Hill, Crawl and Archwell as some of the areas that are suffering from the lack of water because of the non-commissioned pipeline.

He said that the HMC has to be assisting in trucking water to the named areas.