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August 15, 2014
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Car-wash operators power through drought

Some business owners heavily dependent on water have developed alternative ways to ensure their doors stay open during the drought affecting the island.

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill announced a restriction on water and placed a ban on the washing of vehicles using hoses, watering of lawns, filling of swimming pools and other high-water usage activities which are considered non-essential.

But despite the ban and drought, Owner of the Montego-Bay based, Ezee Kars Auto Kare, Handal Waught told THE weekend STAR that albeit slow, he is still able to continue his business.

"We've been using creative methods to find water. we pump water from a nearby river into our tanks. also, when possible, we try to do recycling. we use that water to wash engines and the undercarriage, that don't require clean water," he shared.

Waught told THE weekend STAR that, since the drought, he has seen a reduction in clients.

"It has been even more challenging. before the drought we used to have 20 cars per day, now it's down to about 10."

The owner of Lamloch Carwash and Snack Counter, Bull Bay, St Andrew, told THE weekend STAR he has been forced to resort to transport water, from a spring in his community, to keep his business afloat.

"I've been hauling water from a spring, located about 100 yards from the car wash, in a wheelbarrow, with a drum," said the owner who chose to reamin anonymous.

He told THE weekend STAR that, because of the drought, he has been forced to reduce his already minimal staff.

"I used to have two members of staff but, right now, I'm only able to pay them by commission when I have work. but before, I used to pay them regularly."

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