Cool, clear water in Coffee Piece

September 27, 2016
Ian Allen/Photograph Otis Green man was caught washing his face on this creatively constructed pipe along the main road from Sanguinetti to Coffee Piece. The contraption has been supplying people from near and far for decades. The water which comes directly from a source in the hillside is used for all domestic purposes, including drinking.
Ian Allen/Photographer This water source is a little more sophisticated but it still provides water for the residents of Coffee Piece, who have to pay for it. The on-off valve is secured by a padlock.
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Once you are in the community of Coffee Piece, Clarendon, you will quickly realise that there must be springs and rivers there keeping the vegetation lush and green and the temperatures fairly cool throughout the day.

Residents say they usually have water except for extreme drought conditions, and a stranger will see this manifested soon after entering the community.

The area supplies markets as far away as Kingston with bundles of sweet, juicy sugar cane. But in spite of its name, we did not see any coffee farms.

At a section of the road into Coffee Piece, one can see several lengths of PVC pipe, creatively joined and stretching endlessly to where they are attached to the source of the water in the hills above the district. This culminates at a vantage spot along the roadway. Water runs clear and free.

That is where THE STAR team recently saw livestock farmer Otis Green washing his face after filling plastic containers to load in his pickup truck.

"I come here to get water for my animals all the time and for other purposes, too," he said when asked. "It is not a problem at all. I find it easy because I have the truck.

"I raise pigs, goats, and cows," he continued. "I just sell a cow this morning," he said.

Green has been using the running water source for a long time. The flow never stops and passers-by use it for a quick drink while others come bearing soap and towel to stop for a quick shower.

"This is the real thing. Is pure water. It come from the spring. It good, man. It good," he said.

 

PRECIOUS COMMODITY

 

Others bring containers of all sizes to catch the precious commodity, and some even bring their laundry, choose a comfortable spot near the source, and proceed to wash to their heart's content. If the sun permits, the clothes will be dry before they get home. Otherwise, the water is left to run off into the bushes across the road.

The other creative source of water supply for the community is a pipe affixed to a concrete post whose height rivals the light posts nearby. The post stands close to the centre of the district and can be seen by persons in the shop across the street. This water source, THE STAR was told, is controlled with a lock-off valve and residents have to pay it. Our request to meet the key holder was met with, "Him not here now," and upon close examination, the tap could not be opened. This is not your regular standpipe at all.

barbara.ellington@gleanerjm.com

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