Flowing rivers, dry pipes - Llandewey residents beg for water

June 15, 2017
In this October 2005 file phone, a welder is seen repairing a section of the Yallahs pipeline in St Thomas.
A section of the Yallahs pipeline in St Thomas.


Hurt is an understatement for how some residents of Llandewey in St Thomas say they feel about the water situation in their community.

It's not the lack of water sources in the area that saddens them, but their limited to no access to the life-saving commodity that freely flows through their backyards to supply hundreds of thousands of people living in the Corporate Area.

It was recently reported that the 19-mile pipeline was damaged by heavy rains resulting in no water flowing to the Mona Reservoir from both the Yallahs and Negro rivers in St Thomas. Both rivers normally contribute more than 60 per cent of daily inflows to the reservoir.

Damage to the pipeline and continuous rainfall in the area have resulted in the free and heavy flow of the Yallahs River, an event that usually has community members in high spirit.

But not this time.

According to one resident, "We can go to the river to get water now, yes, but a full time we start get it straight in our pipes. Imagine old and young have to be carrying water on their heads every single day just to have a little to use, and people living in town just turn on dem knob and water come? Tell me, that fair to you?"


Treated water


Another piped in: "Look from when we here bawling to everybody that we don't have nuh water, and as the pipe buss and town people start cry dem run to the rescue. We anuh nuh badi?"

The residents explained that they stopped receiving treated water years ago when the pump in their community was damaged.

Since then they have had to take matters into their own hands, soliciting skilled individuals to connect smaller tubes to pipe the untreated water from the pipeline, which feeds the Mona Reservoir.

But as the National Water Commission continues repairs to ensure that areas in Kingston are provided with their usual water supply as soon as possible, residents of Llandewey are sounding another alarm.

"Can you imagine that the little lines we connect to get a little of our own water are now being cut from the main line? Soon the pipeline will be mended and the river will dry down. Where are we to get water from then?," asked Courzan Simpson, who revealed that he has been living in the Riverhead area of Llandewey for more than 40 years.

"I have been calling on every necessary person and agency, but none have responded, and see it deh, a little boy drowned last week because he had to go to the river to bathe. We are not saying to stop the water from going to Kingston. There's enough for all of us. Why can't we share?"

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