Clarendon water shops to provide 36,000 more gallons of water
MAY PEN, Clarendon — Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie says two more water shops will be built in Clarendon to cushion the effects the drought has been having on residents in areas without piped water.
“In Garden Wood we will be putting down a 20,000-gallon water shop and we will be putting a 16,000-gallon water shop in Beckford Kraal to try to deal with the needs of the communities that are really struggling. Those will be in addition to the significant amount of money put into trucking water into the community,” he said.
He added that his ministry will be also be allocating funds to the Clarendon Municipal Corporation to purchase a water truck, pushing the parish’s tally to two. To ensure a steady supply at the water shops after they are built, water will be trucked to the communities through the municipal corporation.
This, the minister said, is a part of the Government’s recognition that Clarendon is among the parishes worst affected by the ongoing drought.
“On the tour of certain sections of the constituency we recognised that there are many communities without piped water. When we open water shops we are not saying they are the answer to the crisis we have with water. It is a part of the solution of the Government of Prime Minister Andrew Holness to take water — in whatever ways we can — to the people,” he told journalists at Pennants Water Shop following a tour of several sections of Clarendon North Central on Thursday.
Carmen Thomas is among the residents eagerly awaiting the opening of more water shops.
“Is $400 to full one small drum and $4,500 to full one tank so please, sir, see what you can do for us,” she pleaded to McKenzie.
Built in 2016 in response to frequent water crises, the Pennants Water Shop was the first of its kind in Jamaica.
“I’m really proud to see that this facility has been well kept and that the community has found good faith in it,” the local government minister said on Thursday.
In addition to water, McKenzie also addressed the issue of the parish’s roads. He said his tour made him aware of the need for repairs in some areas.
“Our technical team will be working with the municipal corporation to attend to at least one of the roads that we drove on,” he said, referring to the Pindars Valley road that links Pindars Valley Primary School to the community.
“I think it is critical, and we are going to be paying attention to it,” the minster promised.