NWC flayed for prioritising new housing scheme
MAY PEN, Clarendon – The National Water Commission (NWC) is being raked over the coals for its decision to provide water to the newly built Humming Bird Housing Scheme while nearby Clarendon communities wait for the commodity to trickle from their taps.
“It is very much unfair for the residents around that development not to have water. I would love to know when Bird’s Hill, Coolie Town, White Marl and Moores will be getting water,” said a fuming Councillor Carlene Benjamin (Jamaica Labour Party, Palmers Cross Division) during a recent monthly meeting of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation.
The NWC’s representative Devon Johnson attempted to ease her fears.
“The water at Humming Bird, we consider, to be a great sacrifice,” he said, adding that efforts are ongoing to serve other areas.
“We are still working on that. So we had to make other plans to get water into Humming Bird because the people who live there need water. So do Coolie Town, Bird’s Hill, Moores and others but when you have a new development, somehow you will give some amount of attention to that irrespective what is happening around it. I appreciate the fact that you want water for your people but the plan for that is not yet complete. We are on it and we are almost there,” said Johnson.
However, that did little to impress Councillor Kenneth Davis (JLP, May Pen East Division), who said he, too, was perturbed by the NWC’s stated approach.
“The scheme was just built but the residents [in other areas] were there long ago and they are being disenfranchised. I am very concerned because we have been developing housing schemes, factories, and I have seen no improvement in the quality of water supply. Is it the same old [method] we are using? So how can we generate more to the people when we don’t improve on the quality and quantity of the water supply?” he asked. “It won’t work. Improvement to the water supply quality in May Pen is needed.”
Benjamin also took issue with damming a nearby river to supply water to the development.
“You can’t disenfranchise some people to please some people; it can’t be fair. You send water into the scheme and leave the outer areas and now you’re planning to dam the river up that side and forget about the people of Moores, Bird’s Hill, White Marl and Coolie Town. It can’t be fair because those people have to be depending on the river. It can’t work!” she insisted.
Johnson assured that the Rio Minho will not be dammed, as most persons depend on it for domestic purposes. He noted, however, that the smaller Oaks River is being considered.