JP Farms gives residents of Gray’s Inn, St Mary a fresh start
RESIDENTS of the Gray’s Inn, St Mary, who have been challenged by rising temperatures and a four-decade-long delay in receiving potable water to their taps are breathing a sigh of relief, thanks to an intervention by JP Farms in collaboration with Member of Parliament for St Mary South Eastern Dr Norman Dunn.
Weighed down by various buckets, empty cans and other makeshift storage materials, residents of all ages would frequent a nearby spring — which dries up during the summer months — to catch water for cooking, feeding animals and other daily necessities.
Pervasive drought condition since last year has hastened the spring’s dry spell this year and severely impacted the livelihood of the community.
But JP Farms, which is licensed by the Water Resources Authority to operate wells sourced from an underground aquifer on its property, has come to the rescue of the parched residents.
The JP Farms wells are closely monitored and regularly quality-tested and under a previous arrangement the company had informally supplied the Gray’s Inn community with water upon request. However, the company has now moved to formalise the arrangement.
According to Mario Figueroa, general manager at JP Farms, “This is a significant moment for many of the families that reside in the Gray’s Inn community. Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of drought conditions which exacerbate water insecurity, disrupt supplies and devastate communities.
“Our relationship with the community is a long-standing one as we have a number of residents who work on the farm, so extending welled resources to the community was a no-brainer for us.”
The gesture by JP Farms is viewed as another progressive step in its commitment to work closely with neighbouring communities to improve the overall development of St Mary.
“This is one of those wonderful moments as Member of Parliament where there is significant need in a community and through important partners and stakeholders like JP Farms, we are able to lend support to a long-standing, chronic issue,” said Dunn.
“I would really like to thank JP Farms for honouring a commitment to provide the Gray’s Inn community, an important part of its farm environs, with water. It is long in coming as the Gray’s Inn community is about 40 years old and have not had running water in their homes.”
JP Farms, the largest private employer and long-time steward to the people of St Mary, has continued its drive to positively transform the communities bordering its expansive 3,000-acre farmlands.
In June of last year the fresh produce conglomerate signed over 87 plots of land bordering its Chovey farm to the community of Coleraine, an informal settlement located on the property, as part of its long-term commitment to develop the area into a safe and well-maintained residential neighbourhood.