About: “There’s something about Jamaica.”
There’s Something about Jamaica’ is a weekly post on www.mckoysnews.com. Amber Crowl (DJ/Host/Promoter/Activist/Writer) shares her views on Jamaica’s Politics, Economy and Social Culture.
THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT JAMAICA, THAT THOUSANDS OF JAMAICANS NEED IN ORDER TO SURVIVE, BUT IS LACKING IN MANY HOMES. THIS THING, IS PART OF OUR BODIES AND WE USE IT FOR SOME IMPORTANT THINGS IN OUR DAILY LIVES. I REFER TO WATER SUPPLY.
A reliable source of water supply for many Jamaicans, especially in rural areas is still something that seems like it will never happen. Families have lived from generations to generations in the same communities and the situation has remained the same; in some cases for up to 30 years.
In these homes taking showers, washing cars, cooking food, washing clothes and all the other things that we do with water are tasks which prove to be harder to conduct than for the average household with running water supply.
These families have had to develop ways of storing water from rainfall, transport water from near-by water sources or buy water from water trucks. The latter option being the most expensive one, and many of these homes have no water connection from the only company which provides water to homes in Jamaica. There are also homes which are fitted with pipes from the water company but they only receive running water occasionally, sometimes they do not receive any for days, weeks and even months. There are also homes which have been outfitted with pipes and storage tanks by the owners who have to buy water from truckers who operate a private water service.
Unfortunately the number of homes which fit into either 1 or 2 of the descriptions above is quite high and; many Jamaicans are having difficulty getting or keeping water in their homes.
When we think about essential services we cannot forget water.
Schools, Roads, Social Security, Health Care, Education and Water do not get the attention or budget allowance that they deserve from the Jamaican Government. Along with the water company’s failure to develop more clean and safe ways of getting water into Jamaican homes, we also see where water is not a priority for the government. This essential service seems to be always on the back burner.
The water company has no competition since they are the sole providers of water service and they have not maintained or expanded the business of water to match the needs of the population. All across the country if you observe you will see some water pipes so old, that they might make you wonder what else is in those pipes along with your water! Well, one thing that is in those pipes for sure is a lot of ” Chlorine” or other alleged purification additives. When I turn on the pipe at home, I have to let it run out for a few minutes before I use or consume any, as I can see the additive running right through the water. I also filter it to cut back on exposure to whatever that white component is in the water.
So, I say all that to say this, Jamaica is known as ” the land of wood and water” yet we continue to suffer from a lack of water in our homes all across the 14 parishes.
We have many rivers and water sources but these have not been tapped into by the only water company which controls our water supply. This limits water supply to homes across the island tremendously and I think that the water issue should be dealt with in a much more serious way than it has been dealt with. We need more Dams, Storage facilities, and to use up our clean water sources to provide water to citizens.
It is quite difficult for people to wake up extra early in the morning, just to walk sometimes for miles to fill buckets, and repeat the process, morning after morning and night after night. It is even harder for people to keep their homes clean and sanitised if water is scarce. When it comes to drinking clean water this is a fundamental part of what our bodies need daily.
It is my hope that the powers-that-be will take the issue of providing water to Jamaicans with more concern and for those of us who have access to water please remember water is precious and essential. Do not waste it.
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