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PNP calls on gov't to solve water crisis in several communities

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — People's National Party (PNP) Members of Parliament of the four constituencies covering the western belt of lower St Andrew are calling on the government and its agencies to solve the water crisis affecting their constituencies for almost a year now.

The MPs include for St Andrew East Central, Dr Peter Phillips; St Andrew Western, Anthony Hylton; St Andrew South Western, Dr Angela Brown Burke and St Andrew Southern, Mark Golding.

In a joint statement this afternoon, the MPs said that the water crisis is crippling domestic households, businesses, schools and other important institutions in the communities in the constituencies.

According to the MPs, the National Water Commission (NWC) has been unable to bring appropriate relief through trucking as the government has removed the Rapid Response Unit, which was set up by a previous PNP administration to assist in water crisis such as the one presently being experienced by thousands of residents.

In addition, they said, several restoration dates given by the portfolio minister have passed without fulfillment of the commitments and no further explanation given.

The MPs said their constituents are fed up with the problem and it only seems to be getting worse as the water infrastructure is again damaged by the poor implementation of the road improvement projects on Constant Spring Road, Hagley Park Road and the Mandela Highway.

“Just when residents were hoping for relief from the long disruption in their water supply, news emerged that there was another break in the pipeline, caused by poor workmanship,” the MPs expressed.

“With the imminent reopening of schools after the Easter break, there needs to be a serious effort by the government to avoid the closing of schools, as was the case in Western St Andrew before”, Hylton said.

Phillips, said when he toured businesses on Hagley Park Road a week ago, he found business owners universally complaining over the crippling effects of the road work, including the water disruptions, on their businesses.

He also noted that, “Their collective echo was that they cannot go any longer under these devastating conditions.”

Brown Burke said “the situation was especially difficult for women who are responsible for homes and children as well as the effects of the lack of water on their personal hygiene.”

Last night into this morning, at least thirty-two communities in the four named constituencies were without water due to production and distribution problems, according the representatives, continued the statement.

The four MPs are calling on government and the responsible minister to get on top of the situation and find a solution to this existential situation affecting thousands of people in these constituencies.

“If water is life, what happens after a year without this precious commodity?” they asked.


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