Community Focus: Jericho - 40 years of dry pipes
The community of Jericho in Hanover is growing ever more restless as residents blast the authorities for neglect. The people said they have had enough of empty promises by their political representatives and the National Water Commission (NWC), and are demanding that water be returned to their taps as it was 40 years ago.
"Jericho has done its waiting, 40 years of it," said resident Brown-Morris, a retired principal. We have to be buying water from trucks that costs anywhere between $5,000 to $8,000, or some person go down a spring or bridge, but even that is not always safe," she added.
Residents pointed out that two persons lost their lives a few years ago after venturing to a standpipe just outside the community to seek water. The fear of being preyed upon has prompted some to stay in the community and hope their spring does not run dry.
"Me get water from the rain or me buy water from the truck, and it costs me $6,500 each time for just two to four weeks," Steven Hines outlined. "Me nuh always have the money, so if rain nuh fall fi the month, me salt," he added.
"Me think say if me did a pay water rate, it wouldn't cost me as much. When election a call, that's the only time them come and connect up some pipes, but as soon as the election done, nothing. We still have to vote, but we just have a hope say them live up to their promises."
Pamelia Dixon, principal of Jericho Primary and Infant School, said the residents are waiting for the day when water would flow though their pipes.
"There seems to be a big water project coming and persons were hopeful that they would get some water last year. The pipelines were put in place and are still there, but no work is going on," she said.
"As a community, we have meeting with the councillor and we spoke with the different entities regarding the water. We were told that we have to wait until the whole project is done. We were told in April of last year that we should have got some water. We haven't seen anything being done. In fact, no work has been done for a couple months and the community continues to face tough water challenges," she added.
Jericho falls in East Hanover, which is now represented in Parliament by the Jamaica Labour Party's Dave Brown.
The People's National Party's Dr D.K. Duncan represented the constituency for two terms before Brown's win in 2016.