Get your act together, NWC!

Friday, March 22, 2019

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Dear Editor,

This is an open letter to the board of management of National Water Commission:

Last Friday I returned home to Duhaney Park from a trip to the country to find that, yet again, there was no water supply in my pipes. When I made contact with National Water Commission (NWC) I was advised that service had been suspended since Wednesday.

However, I discovered that, while my household and others did not have any piped water, some areas in the community, including a settlement squatter nearby, were still receiving the commodity.

On Saturday I called the NWC to find out if there was an estimated time that piped water would be restored and I was told by the end of the day. Since not a drop came, on Tuesday evening I called again to get a more definite time for water to return. The customer service agent gave me a “guarantee” that water would be in our pipes by 10:00 pm. Still, the service has not been restored.

Whenever anyone from my household calls the NWC helpline they enquire of the service, before providing an answer, they ask for details, including name, account number, telephone number, and the name on the NWC account, etc. To what end? There have been no results.

One occasion we were told that the problem was far more intricate than originally perceived and the agent issued a ticket number to have the problem resolved.

On Tuesday evening I was told that NWC sent a water truck to provide water to the residents who were without water. Unfortunately, those who had been agitating did not benefit. Some people had to run behind the truck to get a container filled as the truck did not come equipped to fill water tanks.

While I'm aware that a water main that supplies the Kingston 20 area has been damaged since December, I don't believe the NWC is doing enough, with any urgency, to address people's needs. Many of us have been left without adequate water supply from before the Christmas holiday season. We are constantly being told that there are delays to fixing the main because of a lack of fittings to do so. At first, we were told that the deadline would be March, then April, and now it's May.

In addition, in its televised advertisements, NWC has been promising to truck water to the area and this week was the only fulfilment of that promise as far as people in my community are concerned.

NWC, if water is life then the people of Duhaney Park are dying. We are dying from the cost of buying water for drinking and cooking for far more than if we were paying our water bills. We are dying because we can barely find water to fulfil basic hygiene requirements.

If United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #6 declares that access to water is a basic human right, why is this human right being neglected, NWC?

It's time to get your act together, NWC.

Josimar Scott

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