Water woes in Treasure Beach
Residents of Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth believe that old water pipes that have become brittle are to blame for the poor quality of the water they are getting in their community and they are pleading to the relevant authorities to put in new ones.
According to the residents, because the pipes are old, they frequently burst because they cannot withstand pressure.
They are also claiming that, in some instances, the water that comes through their pipes have a reddish colour.
"Dem need fe dig up the old dirty pipe dem and put in new pipe ... a many years now dem old pipe under there. Everywhere you go, yu see a burst pipe. Dem fix the road and everywhere yu turn you see a burst pipe."
In addition to the burst pipes and bad water quality, residents of the fledgling tourist town say lack of water in their taps has been a perennial problem.
According to them, sometimes they are out of water for months, a situation that has left them with no choice but to buy water from water trucks at approximately $4,000 for each load.
For business operators in Treasure Beach, their inconsistent water supply is an inconvenience, as it is hurting their ability to deliver quality service, especially to the tourists who have fallen in love with the beauty of the community..
"We need water to run our businesses," said Izone Parchment, a shopkeeper and restaurant operator. "When tourists come and we don't have any water for them to bathe, it hurts our business.
"For me here, we have to cook, clean and wash," continued Parchment. "We use a lot of water for the restaurant. This has been going on for years. Every house has a tank. We have to be buying water and at the same time, we have to be paying water bill same way. This needs to stop."
While the residents struggle without water, whenever it rains that also creates a problem because the drainage in the community is poor and water regularly settles on the roadway, causing damage to the road surface.
"We got some road repairs the other day, but we would want to see more improvements. Treasure Beach is a tourist destination, so we have to ensure that the place is up to par," noted Parchment.