Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
TREADWAYS, St Catherine:
IT IS said that water is life. In light of this, some residents of Treadways in St Catherine have expressed the view that soon, they will have no life as the precious commodity has been lacking in the community for some time.
"Long time now wi nuh have nuh water. The National Water Commission cut off the water and run one main pipeline on the road, but it don't connect to nobody yard," a male resident, who gave his name only as Prendergast, lamented.
When Rural Express visited the community on Wednesday, a dejected John Blake stood with his containers at the standpipe located beside the entrance to the community centre.
"I come here to catch water some time, and now I come, and there is no water in the pipe. I don't know how I'm going to manage. Sometimes when there is none here, I have to buy water, but I can't really afford it all the time because it is expensive," he said.
Willing to pay
According to Bernice Gyles, a returning resident, during her 17-year stay in the community, which boasts McGrath High School, she got piped water only once.
"I only got water in the line once, and when it stopped, and I asked why, I was told that the line was blocked, so I have to buy water. Now I hear that they are running pipelines, and they are going to metre the lines, but I don't mind because I am willing to pay the bill," she said.
Eighty-one-year-old Purnell Russell decried the inconvenience he has been suffering over the years.
"I didn't have any pipe here from 1993 to 2003, and they are charging me for that, plus when I got a pipeline, I wasn't getting any water, and they were still charging me," he told The Gleaner.
"In 2007, I was told that I owed $87,000 for water, and after I queried it, I was told I would get a revised bill," he bemoaned.
Russell said he later got a bill for $105,000 and his pipe was disconnected on March 2, 2009.
"My line is not connected to the main line from it was disconnected. It still isn't connected. I have been buying water since. I would like to reconnect, but I was told that I have to pay the hundred-and-odd thousand dollars that they say I owe before I can get back any water," he explained.
Like Russell, the residents are urging the relevant authorities to move swiftly to regularise the water supply.
"If the NWC a connect fresh line, dem fi just do what dem doing and give wi new line, and wi pay fi di water," Blake suggested.
However, councillor for the Treadways division, Sydney Rose, told Rural Exprsess that somepersons were reluctant to pay for the service.
"All the persons who want water should go and apply to the NWC. You will pay a flat rate until later on when the NWC metres the pipes," explained Rose.
PHOTOS BY KAREN SUDU