ST ANN, Jamaica — Having to face the anger of desperate residents, the St Ann Parish Council is seeking answers from the National Water Commission (NWC) after it was revealed that two pumps recently replaced at separate pumping stations stopped working within an hour of installation.
The pumps are located in the Beecher Town and Brown’s Town divisions. The Council, over the last few months, has been pressured to supply water to several communities as a drought conditions persist.
“Residents in the communities are calling on the members of parliament and councillors to provide them with water. I want it to be abundantly clear that it is not the MP nor the councillors’ responsibility to provide these residents with water, it is the sole responsibility of the National Water Commission,” Ian Bell, councillor for the Beecher Town division stated.
The pump in the Beecher Town division reportedly stopped working less than half an hour after it was installed last weekend leaving several residents, who have been without water for three months, nonplussed.
Bell told the St Ann Parish Council during its monthly sitting on Thursday, May 9 that based on what he has been told, the cause of the breakdown was as a result of careless actions of NWC workers who allegedly replaced the pump before cleaning a small tank at the pump station.
“My investigations told me that the new pump which was installed over the week end and was commissioned has now been down because of a blockage caused by a frog… the water commission personnel did not do due diligence to cause this small tank to be properly cleaned of all its debris so that when the new pump was commissioned into service, it would be there to serve the public,” Bell argued.
He said the entire area served by the Thatch Hill water supply has been out of water for three months now.
Bell called on the NWC to carry out an investigation into why the tank was not cleaned causing the newly installed pump to again need repair.
Meanwhile the Minard Pump in Brown’s Town reportedly stopped working approximately one hour after it was replaced, extending weeks of waiting by residents in Brown’s Town who after several protests expected a return of water last month, as was reportedly promised by the NWC.