Sun | Dec 10, 2023

Letter of the Day | Will NWC ever find a solution to water problems?

Published:Friday | March 31, 2023 | 12:41 AM


When Christopher Columbus, the European explorer who sailed west to get to the East Indies, landed in Jamaica on May 5, 1494, the original inhabitants of Jamaica, who he saw on arrival, believed to be the Arawaks, called the island Xaymaca, which meant “land of wood and water”. About 525 years later, have we become the land of wood and no water?

Referring to a letter to the editor of The Gleaner on August 10, 2019 titled, ‘‘No political will to end water shortage’’, I posited that Albert Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is madness. The letter also stated that the National Water Commission (NWC) falls under the ambit of the government, and for over 40 years, we have had a water supply problem, administration after administration after administration. It doesn’t matter which party is in power. “How can there be a 40-year recurring problem with no change?” I had asked.

Presumably, the problem is known. More storage is required, but the NWC hasn’t increased storage. Instead, it keeps doing the same things. Every year, reportedly, as a result of droughts, there are subsequent water shortages, causing the NWC to curtail the use of water by turning off water during certain hours in particular areas. This is madness! Indeed it is frustrating to come home at night after night to find no water in the pipes. Store water says the NWC, and then what? Bathe with a pan every night? Perhaps the NWC could provide some tanks and pumps in the scheme where I live.

In root cause analysis management, the problem is analysed, addressed, and fixed. Not much appears to have been done over the last three to four decades to mitigate against the persistent water problems. The madness continues.