RESIDENTS in Mount Pleasant, west Portland, are pleading with their political representatives to address the water problems which, they say, have persisted for more than a decade.
The residents, who spoke with the Jamaica
Observer North East last Wednesday, say for years they have been promised water, but, to date, that promise has not been fulfilled.
“We affi a live off rainwater and tank. If yuh look inna everybody yard inna di community, a pure big black tank yuh a see. A over 16 years dem lay dem pipe deh and all now nuh water cyah come,” Denroy Bembridge argued, pointing to a large industrial pipe which runs parallel to the roadway.
He recalled that in February of last year, leading up to the general election, an assessment of the area was done and it was determined that the pump which circulates the water needs to be replaced.
Bembridge said during that same period, residents were given forms and told to pay $9,000 to become regularised by the National Water Commission but that, too, did not materialise.
“A guy did run some water but apparently it never legal, suh dem lock him up,” he divulged, noting that surrounding communities have running water.
A farmer, who gave his name as Calva, said representatives have gone as far as providing fertiliser, but no water. He said the lack of water has prevented his chickens and crop from fully developing.
“It affects business inna di area and not to mention farming, because water is life. Portland a wet place but you have to realise seh we still live in a tropical climate. Rain don’t fall every day,” he stressed.
“Mi mek craft basket with wicker so mi need the water, because if mi nuh have water fi wet it, it can’t work. More time a river mi affi go,” he added.
He said residents have had to pay motorists to transport water to them at a cost of $500 per barrel.
Andrea Shirley, a shopkeeper in the community, also bemoaned the absence of potable water.
“Mi have mi spring and mi set some drum so when rain fall mi can wash and so forth, but mi need drinking water,” the frustrated woman said.
“It’s been years; we need some running water inna we pipe. MP (Member of Parliament), we are human,” she added.