Sterling Castle residents greet NWC’s latest promise of improved water supply with cynicism
DESPITE an assurance from the National Water Commission (NWC) that regular water supply will soon be restored in Sterling Castle and surrounding communities in upper St Andrew, residents are not impressed.
The residents, who complained that they have been deprived of the precious liquid for months, said similar promises had been made in the past but never fulfilled.
"Which year are we in? 2013? Well it's been years since we have not got a regular supply of water in this area. The water 'might', you hear me? Might, come on at about 5:00 am and by 12 (noon) it's gone. The situation is very bad and we can't survive like this," one irate resident told the Jamaica Observer, yesterday.
"I haven't had a decent bath in months. Wi pay wi water bills and yet still we have to be walking with buckets to get water to flush our toilets, bathe and cook. It nuh pretty," a resident who identified himself as 'Satan', related.
In the last three weeks, no water has been supplied to that section of West Rural St Andrew. However, according to NWC's Public Relations Manager Charles Buchanan, the Forest Hills supply system that provides water to that area has been encountering a series of problems in the last month.
"I am aware that several different repair work and maintenance have been conducted on the system during last week. Two pumps on the system broke down and were repaired on Friday. The Forest Hills system has repeated pipeline problems, but the system should be able to operate normally by Saturday," Buchanan said.
But his words were of little comfort to the residents, who said that they have been getting retorts from the NWC about faulty pumps for months.
"So why can't they just buy a new pump and solve that problem?" one resident asked.
"We are suffering. Sometimes the water comes back at 2:00 am and the housewives in the more affluent homes can be heard using their washing machines. The poorer people have to walk far just to get a little water. This cannot continue," the resident complained.
Last week Thursday, the NWC issued a press advisory that Sterling Castle and nearby communities would be without regular water supply for a few hours due to repair work on the Forest Hills system and the publication of the release only served to rile the disgruntled residents.
"That was such an insult. Imagine, we have been without water in our pipes for so long and they have the nerve to issue a press release that we will be without water for a few hours! This situation needs to be resolved immediately. We need water now!" another resident fumed.