Harwood's triple plea

Harwood's triple plea

Resident want water, street lights and proper roads

BY JAHVAY GAYLE
Observer correspondent
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, January 25, 2021

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Residents of Harwood in Clarendon are livid over the absence of potable water, street lights and poor roads in the community.

According to the residents, the community has been without water in the taps for more than 10 years.

The residents, mostly small poultry farmers, say they are forced to buy water to supply their homes, while hoping for rain to provide for their chickens.

“I am not able to raise as many chickens as I used to. Having 300 chickens who will consume around one drum of water each day and that one drum of water cost $21,000 for the month. It is too expensive. As a small farmer, I am suffering because of the water crisis,” said Joan Samuels, a small farmer.

He said the community has been starving for water way too long.

“Even when the water truck comes to sell us water, I set a bucket under the hose that is dripping as I cannot bear to see water go to waste,” said Samuels.

They residents claim that there is a single pipe that supplies the entire community, and it has been without water. They are seeking legal connection to a water supply as they are willing to pay their bills monthly.

“Every time I see people come with paper say they going to connect water in our homes, and all now. If we get water in our homes and we pay a flat bill that would be good as we would be paying less for water,” said a frustrated Dermoth Thomas.

He said the alternative to purchasing water is to get it from the neighbouring community of Fearon and use taxis to transport it to their homes.

Angela Thomas, a long time resident of Harwood, told the Jamaica Observer that she has had three bottles at a standpipe they have dubbed 'Ms Neaty' in the neighbouring community for sometime but has been unable to get them home because the bad road is causing taxis to refuse to take them.

“We want water, we want road, we want street light,” said Thomas.

“from last year they throw marl in the wholes and leave them, and we have no street light, if me a go on the road in the night, I have to use my phone light, and if me no careful me slide and bruk me foot in potholes,” charged Thomas.

The deep rural Clarendon community, which was recently in the news following the killing of police constable Kirkland Plummer at an illegal party in the area, has been without street lights for some time.

“As the clock touches six, I close my doors and go inside. The streets dark, and with the recent shooting, I am too scared to come outside at nights,” said Thasella Clarke.

Harwood is in Clarendon Northwest and is represented by Member of Parliament Phillip Henriques.

The Observer was unsuccessful in its efforts to contact Henriques, who sits on the Government benches in the House of Representatives.

But the residents are calling on him to intervene and ensure that they get water, street lights and proper roads.


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