Letter of the Day | Last drop: Do I flush, bathe or drink?
This is an open letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
THE EDITOR, Sir:
While you sit and relax in your Jacuzzi, with little jets firing water out at 10 PSI (a perk that is well earned, might I add), I am next to my last empty water bucket. What you don’t know is that about an hour ago, I was placed in the most precarious of positions: flush my toilet, wash my hands, or drink some water.
But before you learn about my decision, apparently unbeknown to you is the fact that there are people all over the island in 2019 having water-supply issues. Now, before you think I’m referring to many rural folk who don’t have running water, let me assure you that I’m not referring to them.
For more than two months now, I’ve not seen a drop of water coming out of my pipe. At one point, I thought I had missed my National Water Commission (NWC) bill payment, so I did what any normal bill- and taxpaying citizen would do. I asked my neighbour if they, too, were experiencing the same water crisis. Unsurprisingly, they said yes.
I’ve probably used as much phone credit as I have buckets of water trying to get some sort of an answer from the NWC. On one occasion, the poor young lady said she didn’t know that Kingston 13 was without water. I told her that as far as I knew, Kingston 10,1,13, and 16 had all been suffering for months on end.
Prime Minister, is it because I don’t live in an affluent neighbourhood? Is it because I don’t have kids going to prep schools, private schools, and the like? Are people from the inner city exempt from basic human needs?
On Tuesday, I woke up and checked the pipes. No water. I felt the urge to pee, and I ran to the bathroom instinctively and relieved myself, only to realise that I had no water left to deal with this waste. I nervously went into the kitchen hoping that I could find some and was able to find one bucket that barely had enough water to fill a glass.
With this water crisis, my budget has been completely eviscerated because of the additional expense of buying water. Prime Minister, I cannot afford to purchase any more water. I drank the last remaining water in my house to quench my parched throat as I reflected on this injustice.
The last time I saw water coming from my pipes, the US dollar was $6 cheaper than today’s rate, two Peters threw more words than substance, the NWA didn’t yet conspire to have a pedestrian crossing that didn’t actually cross the road, and a bishop didn’t yet, on national TV, escort a perpetrator to the scene of their traffic offence and hold a press conference.