Claremont, Jericho residents get water; roads to come

Regional

Claremont, Jericho residents get water; roads to come

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer

Thursday, August 13, 2020

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CLAREMONT, Hanover -Residents of Claremont and Jericho in Hanover, is soon to benefit from a multimillion-dollar road rehabilitation project, according to Member of Parliament for the area, Dave Brown.

The announcement was made last Saturday during the commissioning of a $400-million water supply system for the first time in 48 years, to serve more than 8,000 residents in those areas and its environs.

“Within the next few weeks, maybe two weeks, the rehabilitation of this same roadway from Jericho to Claremont will commence,” Brown told the gathering.

“It is another step on the road to prosperity that the people of Hanover deserve.”

Cabinet minister and general secretary of the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Dr Horace Chang, made it clear that the project for which a contract was signed almost six months ago is not an election promise.

“What Dave said about the road is not election business. We have been in there working and the contract for the road has been awarded [for] nearly six months ago. Unfortunately, the gentleman [contractor] has not been able to start. I am not sure why because he did the same thing in my constituency... I just told him that he better start this road now, because the road is bad coming up here,” Dr Chang argued.

He further made it clear that the money for the project remains intact and is not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The money is there. It was not troubled by COVID because this prime minister [Andrew Holness] will tell you, when it comes on to the little roads out here suh, make sure the monies stay pon it, and it is there,” assured the Cabinet minister.

Meanwhile, Claremont and Jericho residents could not mask their joy when Prime Minister Andrew Holness commissioned into service the water supply system.

For almost five decades, the communities nestled in the Hanover Eastern constituency have been without potable water.

Forty-odd-year-old Claremont resident Vian Johnson noted that “from all the days of my life this is the first time I am seeing piped water in the community,” moments after the water was turned on.

“It has been a little rough on us because we have to wait for the rain to fall or wait on the water truck to buy water, or take a vehicle to go to Kew (approximately three miles away) to collect water and so forth. But, it is overwhelming for us, trust me. We are so grateful,” she expressed.

Vaughan Green, another resident who has never seen piped water in the community, shared similar sentiments.

“It is many promises that them mek yuh know and we don't see it start. Mi see it start yah now, and mi see it come yah now so mi happy fi see it,” he said gleefully.

The multimillion-dollar project, which includes the laying of 14km of transmission pipelines, the installation of two relift pumping stations and the installation of two storage reservoir tanks.

Holness told the gathering that water is the right of every Jamaican and the Government is making major strategic investments in bringing the precious commodity to every household.

“Yes, we [the Government] want to know where we are going to get the greatest economic return. We are going to want to look at where we make the investment and can get the repayment, but we also have a duty to make the investment where people have been without water for many years,” he said.

“This particular community has been without water for 48 years [and] the Government of Jamaica has therefore invested $400 million to bring water to your community.

President of the National Water Commission (NWC), Mark Barnett, encouraged the residents to pay their monthly water bill, which said he would be significantly less than the current cost to truck water to the communities.

“I heard a resident say that they have to pay upwards of $4,000 for water. NWC will only be charging you approximately $2,500 a month for that water and now [you] can immediately see the gains from truck water versus piped water,” Barrett noted.


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