Thu | Jun 20, 2019

Waterless Christmas - Shortage of essential commodity spoils festivities for many Jamaicans

Published:Thursday | December 27, 2018 | 12:00 AMNadine Wilson-Harris/ Gleaner Writer
Sonia Cousins was glad to find water trickling from a pipe in Ambrook Lane, St Andrew yesterday, as sections of the island were affected by water shortage over the Christmas holidays.
This man went to get some ice in Ambrook Lane, St Andrew yesterday, to help ease the water shortage affecting sections of the island over the Christmas holidays.
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It was not a merry Christmas for scores of Jamaicans who were without water on Christmas Day after the National Water Commission (NWC) suspended services in some communities across the island due to a combination of issues.

Several residents in the Corporate Area were still fuming yesterday as they shared how the disruption in services affected what was supposed to be a happy day.

"I had to go to people yard go cook because I didn't have any water to cook my Christmas dinner," said Washington Gardens resident Sara Johnson.

Stephanie Grant who lives off Sundown Crescent, Molynes Road, said that she had to go in search of water in another community. The mother of one, who is currently six months' pregnant, said that both she and her daughter were inconvenienced.

"She [daughter] can't bathe, and I don't have any water to wash the plates, and her clothes are dirty, and the place needs to wipe out. You know when you have baby, the place have to be sanitised and clean," she said.

The NWC stated in a press release on Christmas Day that several wells on the Eastern Headworks Water Supply Relift System were out of operation due to a single phase power problems. This, they said, resulted in service disruptions to customers in some areas of St Catherine and the Corporate Area.

Areas affected included Kent Village, Spanish Town Road, Molynes Road, Washington Boulevard, sections of downtown Kingston, Hamilton Gardens, Christian Gardens, Christian Pen, Newland Road, Cumberland, Cedar Grove, Edgewater, Waterford, Gregory Park, Braeton, Independence City, and Hellshire.

"The NWC regrets any inconvenience caused and is assuring customers that regular service will be restored as soon as a power supply is returned to the facilities," the commission said.

In another press release, the NWC advised that operations at the Iterboreale/Agualta Vale Water Treatment Facilities were suspended due to a defective pumping unit.

Areas affected included Highgate, Richmond, Esher, Lewis Store, Frazerwood, Clonmwell, Belfield, Stockholm Park Housing Scheme, Islington, Harewood Hall, Albany, Zion Hill, and Robins Bay.

 

CANCEL CHRISTMAS MEAL

 

Water was also suspended in sections of St Elizabeth, Hanover, and St James.

"Water shortage come in like the norm these days," lamented one worker at a hardware store in Drewsland, St Andrew.

She said that the area had been experiencing water woes since November.

"We have a gallon bucket round there, and it has to last for the day. Don't use the bathroom, though, because we don't have any water to flush it," she said when asked how this had affected business.

Several persons took to social media site Facebook to vent.

"People have to cancel their Christmas meal because of no water. I hope NWC will be taking 50 per cent off the bill for this great inconvenience," one customer wrote.

nadine.wilson@gleanerjm.com