In a joint statement this afternoon, the MPs for East Central St. Andrew, Dr. Peter Phillips; Western St. Andrew, Anthony Hylton; South Western St. Andrew, Dr. Angela Brown Burke and Southern St. Andrew, Mark Golding said the water crisis is crippling domestic households, businesses, schools and other important institutions in the communities in all four constituencies.
The Members of Parliament said the National Water Commission (NWC) has been unable to bring appropriate relief through trucking as the government has destroyed the Rapid Response Unit, which was set up by a previous PNP administration to assist in water crisis such as the one presently being experienced by thousands of residents. In addition, they said, several restoration dates given by the portfolio minister have passed without fulfillment of the commitments and no further explanation given.
They said the residents are now fed up, as the problem seems to be getting worse as the water infrastructure is again damaged by the poor implementation of the road improvement projects on Constant Spring Road, Hagley Park Road and the Mandela Highway. Just when residents were hoping for relief from the long disruption in their water supply, news emerged that there was another break in the pipeline, caused by poor workmanship.
“With the imminent reopening of schools after the Easter break, there needs to be a serious effort by the government to avoid the closing of schools, as was the case in Western St. Andrew before”, MP Anthony Hylton said.
East Central St. Andrew MP and Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, said when he toured businesses on Hagley Park Road a week ago, he found business owners universally complaining over the crippling effects of the road work, including the water disruptions, on their businesses. Their collective echo was that they cannot go any longer under these devastating conditions.
South West At. Andrew MP Dr. Angela Brown Burke said “the situation was especially difficult for women who are responsible for homes and children as well as the effects of the lack of water on their personal hygiene.”
Last night into this morning, at least thirty-two communities in the four named constituencies were without water due to production and distribution problems.
The four Members of Parliament are calling on government and the responsible Minister to get on top of the situation and find a solution to this existential situation affecting thousands of people in these constituencies. “If water is life, what happens after a year without this precious commodity?” they asked.
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