22 St Mary districts hit by drought
PORT MARIA, St Mary – Eighteen minor water supplies in St Mary have almost gone dry because of low rainfall, forcing Mayor of Port Maria Bobby Montague to declare 22 communities in the parish drought-stricken.
Communities affected are Marlborough, Brainerd, Zion Hill, Jeffrey Town, Castleton, Richmond, Camberwell, George’s Hope, Belfield, Carron Hall, Derry, Hazard, Enfield, Dover, Frazerwood, Tremolsworth, Cromwelland, Lewis Store, Decoy, Dressikie, Hamilton Mountain, and Bonny Gate.
The mayor has, in the meantime, written to the Ministry of Local Government to appeal for assistance.
“Conditions in these communities are desperate. These areas have been visited by the public health officers and they fear an outbreak (of disease) of some kind,” Montague said.
“The opening of schools and the additional needs for water, coupled with a lack of trucks from the National Water Commission (NWC) and the Rapid Response Unit is making the situation worse,” the mayor said.
According to NWC area manager for St Mary and Portland, Anthony Cornwall, both parishes were being severely affected by drought and the commission was not now in a position to assist the council with their systems.
Cornwall said that while water systems in St Mary are controlled by either the NWC or the parish council, it was mainly areas under the purview of the council that were being affected and the NWC was doing its best to satisfy customers.
“We have to satisfy the needs of paying customers before assisting elsewhere and our St Mary customers are good paying customers, so we have to do everything in our power to assist them,” Cornwall said.
He said there has, however, been “ultimate co-operation between the NWC and the parish council”