Water woes frustrating Greenwich Town residents

Residents of Greenwich Town in St Andrew are angry and frustrated by the limited piped water available to them in certain sections of the community, but particularly in an area referred to as Top Farm.

According to a senior representative of the National Water Commission yesterday, residents will just have to wait a while longer, as necessary work continues to change out pipelines that were totally encrusted and needed to be replaced. The representative told the Jamaica Observer that the water situation in Greenwich Town and other areas located in proximity to Spanish Town Road, should be “improving sometime soon”.

The Sunday Observer visited some of the areas affected and residents complained that they have had to deal with excessive pile-up of dirty laundry and not being able to bathe as frequently as they should. One male resident of Central Road shared that whatever little trucked water they received they have to guard it from persons who steal water stored in drums.

“A two dozen drums used to deh deh suh at the front and everyone hhaffi move dem drum. Me hhaffi put my drum pon my verandah. If you ever leave it out, you wake and not even see a tip of water. Di man dem literally tek di water by bailing it out and full up fi dem drum.

“The situation is critical. Not even bathe mi can get fi bathe more time, days pon days. When you full a one drum, di pagan dem done it, and pagan mean any human being. Not even a tip fi brush your teeth. A survival dem a deal wid, and mi never yet can catch dem. Dem have good timing. It wicked mi general,” McMillan Stewartson said while repeatedly slapping one of the drums, saying “You see it, empty barrels make the most noise.”

He added that residents who usually venture to the adjoining community of Rose Town to use a stand pipe fear doing so these days because of the unpredictability of violent flare-ups.

“Di hottest thing a seh one pipe deh a Rose Town, but tru war and negative vibes we clustered and can’t go no weh. We and nobody nuh really inna nuh war, but di whole Kingston 13 a war, suh we can’t take nuh check.”

The Sunday Observer was just in time to see Novlette Anderson, bustling, trying to reduce a pile-up of clothes belonging to herself and four of her five children.

“I have four children living with me now. Normally, I make them wash their own clothes, but the machine not working. Me have some clothes a back up. I supposed to wash likkle likkle, but the water situation force me to wash one whole heap and mi not suh young again fi a stand up and a wash so much clothes. If the water came more often so much clothes wouldn’t pile up on me.

“I get up in the early morning and catch water because it don’t come in the day, and it is very dangerous because the place not running like how it supposed to. I come up here about three and a half years come see the water problem. I have a bathroom and it can’t flush properly. We have to use the rinsing water to flush the toilet, so after we wash the clothes we cannot throw the water away,” she shared.

West Avenue residents highlighted that there is usually great confusion and fuss over water that is trucked to the area. They too complained about not being able to access water from a standpipe in Rose Town due to ‘war’ and called on the NWC to come to their rescue.

Tasha Brown said, “We don’t have any regular flow of water inna wi pipe fi years now.

“A just Thursday we get likkle water. Other than that we haffi a buy water, and sometimes dem send some private truck wid water and when di truck dem come a pure fight and problem fi get likkle water, and we inna corona time. We haffi a try and save water. We can’t keep clean like how we fi a keep clean.”

Carol Frame, claimed that sometimes residents have to run behind water trucks just to fill a few containers.

“Fi ’bout five year me hardly get water inna my pipe. If you nuh friend all a truck man, you cya get water sometime when dem come. You might get a one drum and that’s it and dem full a bad attitude.

“If you nuh run back a di truck dem you cya get likkle water, but because me is sort of a friendly person, me might get likkle when dem come. All three times a night me wake up just fi check di pipe. Me will all wake up like 5:00 o’clock and walk go out a mi gate. One likkle old man weh live right across the road, him haffi push wheelbarrow go dung di road fi get likkle water and anything can reach him before daylight.

“People haffi a go a Rose Town. A stand pipe deh a Rose Town pon Spanish Town Road. Di last time di youth dem go over deh dem kill a man right beside dem suh dem fraid fi even go over deh more than suh. We just haffi wait suh till dem feel like fi gi we likkle water,” she said.

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