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Water at last! Northern Clarendon residents to get improved supply of the precious commodity

Published:Wednesday | March 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMShanique Samuels
Community ingenuity observed at Coffee Piece where a water system has been engineered.
A resident catches water at one of the sources.

RITCHES, Clarendon:

Mayor of May Pen Winston Maragh has engaged water resource experts from the National Water Commission (NWC), the Rural Water Supply Limited, and the Water Resources Authority to improve the domestic water supply for residents of Clarendon, particularly those living in northern section who are mostly without a reliable supply of potable water.

The experts found the yield at three of the four sources to be promising, particularly those at Ritches, suggesting that they have the potential of being developed into viable systems. These sources, primarily springs and rivers, can produce a combined supply of 202,641 gallons of water per day and serve upwards of 5,600 rural residents. They have since been earmarked for further prospecting by the Rural Water Supply Limited.

"The Clarendon Municipal Corporation can no longer afford to continue the trucking of water as the primary method of serving affected communities because it is expensive and inadequate in supplying all households in need. The local authority is, therefore, looking to find a more sustainable fix to the parish's water problem by identifying and developing as many community-based sources as possible to serve the local people," Maragh said at a recent Minor Water Committee meeting.

The mayor has asked parish councillors to identify potential water sources in their divisions, to which he has invited experts to assess their viability. During the tours that began in January, the experts visited Mount Pleasant in Mocho; Thomas River near Thompson Town; and Coffee Piece in Ritches, in the northwestern section of the parish, which have long been without a piped water system.

Mayor Maragh says the local authority has rededicated itself to its role of identifying and developing viable and reliable water supply facilities in as many communities to satisfy the citizens of Clarendon in partnership with the Rural Water Supply Limited and the NWC, where necessary.

The water tour continued last month in Birds Hill in southeast Clarendon and Redlands, Red Hills, and the Bull Head Mountain in northern Clarendon.