Hermitage, August Town pipes left high and dry
THE EDITOR, SIR:
I write in reference to three publications in The Gleaner last week: November 17, 'Water shortage impacting hall life on UWI campus'; November 18, 'NWC not at fault for UWI water crisis'; and November 20, 'Point finger of blame at NWC, says UWI'.
In a very hasty response to The Gleaner report, the National Water Commission's (NWC) Corporate Communications Manager Charles Buchanan stated, "UWI's water issues relate to internal water distribution, which falls under the responsibility of the university's administration." Of course, there was no mention of any checks being made explaining this result. Mr Buchanan has also further noted that the NWC storage facilities at the Hermitage Dam are full, and the Mona Reservoir is at 97 per cent of its capacity.
Now, I'm not an expert at how storage facilities are operated, but what I know is that for the past 30 years since I have lived in the Hermitage, August Town communities in St Andrew, we have had severe water shortage problems even when NWC storage facilities at the Hermitage Dam are full, and the Mona Reservoir is at 97 per cent of its capacity.
Numerous phone calls to the NWC offices and in-person reports to the operations department have been futile. The dismissive attitude from the customer service reps has always been, "We will look into it", or "There is nothing we can do from our end but submit the report."
Calculate, if you must, 30 years of complaining at least once per week, and the NWC, to this day, is standing firm to its claim that nothing is wrong with its supply system to this community, even when, as they claim, "the Hermitage Dam facilities are full, and the Mona Reservoir is at 97 per cent of its capacity". We still have no water!
We need some justice in this community. We are tax-paying citizens just like those in the more affluent communities, and we deserve a full report on why this is so. I call on Charles Buchanan to explain the reason for the deficit in water supply to Hermitage and August Town. We get a water bill every month, but the majority of the time, air is what is supplied to us.
Like the UWI, the residents of Hermitage and August Town in St Andrew find that the statement from the NWC does not adequately address the matter of water supplies to our situation. While the Mona campus, like the rest of the country, has been advised by the NWC that water restrictions have been lifted and that the level of supply has been improved, this has not resulted in full restoration of supply to the Hermitage and August Town communities.