Springhead's flowing secret

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-Large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, April 15, 2019

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It is a secret they were reluctant to share with the rest of Jamaica, even though they share it freely with those who discover it.

It's an underground water spring that never goes dry and supplies all the residents of Springhead Community and many in neighbouring communities near Oracabessa in western St Mary.

“This a the head of the spring and you see the community name Springhead so you know say a the water them name the community after — and that a hundreds of years now,” Everard “Bobo” Duncan told the Jamaica Observer North & East recently.

He pointed to approximately 10 persons at the cool spring filling bottles of various sizes mid-morning on March 26, and argued that the news team had arrived at a quiet time because usually there would be more persons getting their fill.

Duncan, the unofficial caretaker for the area where the water emerges from deep beneath the earth, said there is no one in the quaint community who can remember a time when the spring did not flow.

“The spring, because a natural water, people from all over the globe come here come collect it. People who ah all 80-odd, as them come from America or England them come here. Them say them grandparents used to bring them here, and memba a some 80-odd-year-old people me a tell you about, so you see how long it a run.

“Me as a youth born and grow up around here and me born come see it. Somebody used to take care of it name Mr Dowe, and me come see them man deh,” said Duncan.

He said the water has always been given away freely to anyone who wants it, as the community members feel blessed to have this treasure in their midst.

“We no charge nobody, but you will have some people who a pass and a go work and them will leave them bottle and say, 'Bobo full this fi me till me a come from work,' and them people deh will give me a thing. Worse a me a take care of the place and plant up all them flowers that you see,” added the soft-spoken dreadlocked man.

With the spring being the source of potable water for the community, persons are prevented from bathing or washing clothes there, and everyone complies in a united effort to ensure that it is not contaminated.

“The people them from Kingston who come and test the water, them come and say it fi boil. But we in a the community, because a it grow we, we no boil it — but people from outside who come full, me no know if them boil it,” said Duncan.

Among those seen filling several bottles was Danny Thomas who said, while he is not from Springhead, he travels there regularly to top up, particularly when he plans to travel to Kingston.

“Me have a breddren a town (Kingston) who, if me check him and me no carry no water fi him, him vex. Him pass through the area and him follow me come catch water and from that, every time me a go town me have fi carry water fi him,” said Thomas.


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