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JIS News

Efforts will be made to truck water to areas in East St. Thomas that are still without their regular supplies.

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, gave the assurance to Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson during a tour of the parish on November 1 to assess damage from Hurricane Sandy.

Dr. Ferguson, who spoke to JIS News, said that most of the constituency still remain without piped water due to the lack of electricity to pump the commodity to the communities.

"I am deeply distressed as it relates to the water situation,” he said. “The misery level is moving up significantly with every passing day,” he added.

He said he is pleased that Minister Pickersgill has given “some assurance about the trucking of water,” and there is also the possibility of looking at alternative sources of energy if the problem continues for a protracted period.

Mr. Pickersgill, for his part, lamented the situation in Eastern St. Thomas in terms of the lack of piped water.  “I know that the Jamaica Public Service is (doing) its utmost to bring back electricity to these areas. I am sure that you are aware that the NWC (National Water Commission) stations are heavily dependent on the supply of electricity,” he said.

He told JIS News that the NWC is looking to put contingency plans in place so as to enable the supply of water to communities when there is a loss of electrical power.

Vice President of Engineering and Project Delivery at the NWC, Garth Jackson, informed that “quite a few” of the newer water facilities across the island have had standby generators installed.

“What we are also doing is outfitting them with mobile generators so we can relocate them from point to point depending on where in fact we have the need. What we want to focus on are areas that serve particularly hospitals and those critical priority areas, so we will supply generators to those sources, which will allow the critical facilities to be back up in service as soon as possible,” Mr. Jackson said.

Since Thursday (October 25) all capital towns and most other major population centres have been able to access water.