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Manchester customers owe National Water Commission more than $500 million

Published:Thursday | June 18, 2015 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey

Mandeville, Manchester:

With 22,000 customers from the parish being supplied with water by the National Water Commission (NWC), a significant number of them has been found to be delinquent in payments, making the outstanding sum to the water company a whopping $557 million.

According to junior minister in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Ian Hayles, it costs more to supply the parish with water in comparison to some other parishes.

"If you don't pay your water bill, we can't bring you the water that you need in Manchester ... it costs us 30 per cent more to pump the water to here ... ."

Speaking at the People's National Party's Face2Face Town Hall meeting Wednesday evening, Hayles said that tanks in the area will be fixed to reduce the cost of water supply. The administration, he said, is to put $1 billion into fixing tanks across the country and retrofit them with new pumps."

He added, "Over the next five years, the projection will continue in terms of an additional $5 billion in ensuring that all the areas in Manchester are covered, but for what it will cost, we ask that you pay your water bills."

With approximately $25 billion dollars owed to the NWC across the country, the junior minister said the money was needed to repair infrastructure for better service.

"The NWC has a hard task, the majority in terms of the infrastructure that we have across the country is crumbling, and there is a significant level of investment that is being made from the water ministry in ensuring that we can retrofit it."