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Gov't depriving JLP-represented communities of water, says Bartlett

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, March 25, 2014    

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BARRETT TOWN, St James — The Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has accused the ruling People's National Party (PNP) of depriving communities represented by the JLP of water.

Member of Parliament for East Central St James Edmund Bartlett complained bitterly on the weekend of what he said was a seeming conspiracy to starve residents in districts within his constituency of water.

"Since 2011 it is as if somebody decided that the people of East Central must not get any water. I haven't seen more communities in a single constituency [which] all of a sudden can't get distribution of that scarce commodity," Bartlett bemoaned.

"The people in Rhyne Park, the people in Orange, the people in Irwin, the people in Irwindale, the people in Latium, the people in Over River, the people in Hurlock [have been deprived of water]," Bartlett told a constituency conference

Bartlett, who claimed that it was a different kettle of fish during Dr Horace Chang's tenure as water minister under the previous JLP Government, has demanded that an explanation be provided about the reason for denying some communities of water.

"We have done everything. We bring the minister (of water) come, we bring National Water Commission come, we bring everybody we even start to truck water and we still can't get consistency in supply. Poor people of the constituency have to be carrying water on their head.

"I want it to be known that wi not going tek it so because we tired," Bartlett told his constituency conference at the John Rollins Success All-Age School in Barrett Town, Sunday night.

Bartlett, who backed Audley Shaw against Andrew Holness in the party's leadership race last year, said the JLP is now a united force and ready to do battle with the PNP when elections are called.

"I want the whole world to know that irrespective of where we were in November, today we are one united Jamaica Labour Party going to give the PNP the political backsiding of their life whenever elections are called. Clear position, argument done," Bartlett declared.

Meanwhile, JLP councillor for the Anchovy Division, Homer Davis accused the PNP-led St James Parish Council of refusing to allocate funding to his division, which he claimed has been far the most challenged by water woes in the South St James constituency, for which he is the JLP caretaker.

"They are not a nice bunch of people. Victimisation is the heart of their activities [as] they stop at nothing to victimise us, even with common water. Members of Parliament and councillors who are not aligned to their party are not given the necessary allocation," Davis alleged.

"I am one such councillor. My division is the division which suffers the most water shortage in Southern St James and not even a dollar [has been allocated]," he alleged.

The meeting was also addressed by party leader Holness, Shaw, Chang and other senior members of the JLP.

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