Redwood thirsts for water - St Catherine community yearns for life-saving commodity

March 06, 2017
Colin Grant (left) has been using his bicycle to transport water from a catchment in Redwood, St Catherine to his home. At right is Willam Cytall, councillor of the Troja Division in the St Catherine Parish Council.
William Cytall, councillor for the Troja Division, quenches his thirst in Redwood Gully, St Catherine.
This tank, which serves Redwood and surrounding communities, is in need of repairs.
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Colin Grant has been using his bicycle to transport water from a catchment in Redwood, St Catherine, to his home, located about one mile away, for most of his life.

The community of Redwood sits about 40 minutes outside of Spanish Town, on the way to Guys Hills.

"You si dis ya bicycle ya, dis is what mi use every day fi go dung dere fi water, as dere is no water for up ya so fi years," Grant, 36, told THE STAR.

The water woes in Redwood and surrounding communities are real. Just ask Soren Robinson.

"We have been carrying water from Redwood Gully from wi born and this needs to change. We have seen persons moving out of the community due to the lack of water to do basic things," said Robinson, president of the Redwood Progressive Youth Club.

 

WATER SYSTEM TOUR

 

The Redwood resident was among several who turned up for a tour of the water system in the community last Thursday.

Councillor William Cytall of the Troja division in the St Catherine Municipal Corporation as well as members of the National Water Commission (NWC) toured Redwood and surrounding district, as they sought to address the long-standing problem of little or no water in the community.

"We need di pump fi come in place to deal wid di problem," Grant said, while arguing that a mechanical pump would ensure water is distributed to persons in Burkshire Hall, Savannah and Cedar Valley.

"This is a farming community and I can remember there is always the problem of water. We need more than a gravity-fed system as it only provides little or no water," Natalee Bailey said.

"Although I have left here, my mother lives here and we have to be buying water at $3,500 per 800 gal. This is sad as most persons are not working. So we need to address the problem," Bailey added.

Calvert Davis, the water manager of the NWC for St Catherine, said that there are plans to address the water challenges. He said that the NWC intends to install a pump in Cedar Valley. He said, too, that a 30,000-gallon tank, which is in the community, is in need for repairs.

"We will be having a meeting with the engineers and have a meaningful engagement as to the quickest way to deal with the residents' water woes," Davis said.

Meanwhile, Councillor Cytall said the needs of the residents are real and deserve urgent attention.

"We are very glad that the NWC has toured the area along with the Rural Agricultural Development Agency and Social Development Commission. This to get a fulsome awareness as to the residents problems, as we are here to serve all," Cytall said.

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