Five charged for water theft in St Elizabeth, Manchester

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Five charged for water theft in St Elizabeth, Manchester

Thursday, November 14, 2019

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ST ELIZABETH, Jamaica — Five people have been chargedfor illegally taking water and trespassing on the works of the National Water Commission (NWC).

TheNWC said the five people are to appear before the Resident Magistrate's Courts in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth and Porus, Manchester on December 4, December 16, 2019 and January 4, next year.

Charged during a revenue recovery operation in Nain, Stephen Run, Gazeland and Cheapside in the parishes are businessman Marlon Byfield, Annmarie Evans, Hugh Ford and Lorrenner Brown, all from Stephen Run along with Howard Francis of Cheapside, who was caught filling his water truck from a service connection.

NWC said the recovery operation became necessary after it was discovered that people were illegally tapping into the distribution network.

The operation comes just weeks after the official commissioning of the $630-million Essex Valley Water Supply Scheme, which serves the St Elizabeth/ Manchester area, NWC said.

In commenting on the operation, regional manager, Jermaine Jackson denounced the persistent practice of water theft.

“We have had several meetings in the area and have set up mobile offices to make it easier for residents to sign up for the service. We have even reduced the installation cost; but some persons insist on stealing the water,” Jackson said.

Receivables manager, Raymond Nesbeth said the team will not relent as the NWC has been flexible.

“We are encouraging persons to sign up and obtain a legal connection and desist from tampering with our systems. We will continue to prosecute persons found stealing water,” Nesbeth warned.

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