Bois Content residents tired of dry pipes
Water is life and the residents of Bois Content in St Catherine say the chronic shortage of the commodity is threatening their livelihood. According to those who live in the community that is nestled close to the border of St Catherine and Clarendon, they have not seen water running in their pipelines for approximately 30 years.
Truck-delivered water and rainfall are the main ways that people get water. Veni Newell says that when their storage tanks and buckets run dry, they are unable to do some of the most basic things.
"Sometimes mi use we bathroom and mi wah wash mi private, and there is no water ... dat bad man. Sometimes we can't even find likkle water to wash the pickney dem foot bottom, not even di foot bottom alone," he said.
As the news team travelled through the district, at least two huge catchment tanks were observed but Newell says for years, they have just been there for display purposes. He stated that he and others from the farming community are extremely frustrated and is imploring the relevant authorities to provide them with the service that they have been yearning for three decades. He said they are often provided with trucked water, but that, he said, is another matter.
"Wi nuh wah no more truck water yah because we nuh know whe dem a take it up from a carry come give people," Newell said. "Mi nuh wah nuh form a truck water because we a pay tax and when di water come a bare spite ting because dem pick and choose who to give," he added.
Karen Blake is among the many frustrated residents.
"Pipe run but no water nuh in it suh it nuh serve no purpose. Water deh a Bellas Gate and it deh a Colbeck but none nuh deh right ya so. Mi caah bathe and a nuff tings we face yasso. Some of what mi wah say can't go in the newspaper or say pon camera, so mi a choose mi words carefully but from mi eye deh a mi toe right till it reach a mi head now, mi nuh see no water in we pipe and it can't continue like this," Blake said.
"A God himself from above provide drinking water fi we. We have to wait on the rain to fall. If a never fada God mi thirst woulda kill mi. Whole heap a people deh ya do farming but people can't even plant dem likkle cash crop. Right yah now if a never Almighty God nuh water nuh inna my tank," she said.
Contacted via telephone yesterday, Keith Knight, councillor for the Old Harbour North Division, which represents a section of Bois Content, said he is aware of the water shortage issues affecting the community. He, however, declined to speak on the matter, stressing that he is following the 'weekend lockdown' rules that have been instituted by the Government to help control the spread of COVID-19, and was not available for comment.
In the meantime, Bois Content residents are hoping that they will soon see definitive actions taken to bring water to their homes, via pipelines.
"All we are asking them to do is to give us water. Myself and others have been lobbying for this for years and we are yet to see it happen," Robert Newell said.
"Bois Content is surrounded by Bellas Gate and Colbeck and those two spaces have running water. The pipes are there already so all they need to do is connect it from any side," he added.