Lancaster thirsts after decades without running water

October 10, 2018

The community of Lancaster in south Manchester has been without running water for decades. Residents mainly depend on rainfall to carry out daily activities. During the dry period, the challenges these individuals face are numerous.

Some residents even have to carry water on their heads or in wheelbarrows.

One resident, Camille Shand, said that "from I was born, I've never seen that (running water) here."

She added that residents have to build tanks or use drums to catch water. When it rain, the gutters on their houses gather the water.

"If, for example, there's a drought, we'd have to purchase water and throw in our tanks or black drums and try to conserve so that it can last us as long as possible," she said.

One load of water usually costs these residents about $7,000 to $8,000 and during the dry period, the price is twice as high.

Having to purchase water at times burdens the pockets of residents, especially those with large families, as a truckload of water may not last for a long period of time.

Individuals sometimes pool their money in order to make a purchase.

Another resident, Odette Wright, said that during the dry period she is unable to wash clothes, take multiple

showers and cook.

She has to buy bottled water for drinking and recycle water to flush the toilet.

"I have to ask family members in other communities to bring me a bottle or two (of water), which only last for a day," she said.

These residents would love to have running water, as it is believed that it would work out cheaper than having to purchase the precious commodity.

They reason that at least in the time of drought, they would have water in the tanks as back-up.

Efforts to contact the councillor for the division, Anthony Bryce, and Member of Parliament Michael Stewart were unsuccessful.

- C.W.

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