Water supply affected by drain repairs
Although admitting that remedial work being done to improve the drainage system in the flood-prone area of French Avenue and its environs in Port Antonio, Portland, is well needed, some residents have raised concerns about the digging up of that roadway, which is now affecting their water supply.
The work is being carried out by workmen from the Portland Municipal Corporation, resulting in a section of the road being dug up, rendering that corridor impassable to vehicular traffic. Meanwhile, pedestrians are forced to walk along the edges of a drain to enter or leave their homes.
One of the affected residents, Carla Harris, who spoke to The Gleaner on Sunday, said that the digging up of the roadway to install drainage pipes has resulted in the damage to water pipes, thus disrupting water supply to several homes.
“While we welcome the effort to correct the existing problem of frequent flooding, it would appear as if they are just digging without ensuring that pipelines are protected,” Harris said.
“Water supply to French Avenue, Manning Avenue and Harris Crescent is regulated, and therefore we look forward to getting water in our pipes to do our domestic chores. They dug up the roadway last week and since then we have been affected, as there is no water in the pipeline. We cannot afford storage tanks, so we depend on our regular supply on the designated days,” she added.
Under the regulated water supply system initiated by the National Water Commission, residents living on French Avenue, Manning Avenue and Harris Crescent receive regular supply on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Another resident, Carmen Webber, said that the roadway was dug up last Wednesday and that vehicles are unable to drive through that corridor, which she said has been cordoned off by the workmen.
“Dis work shoulda do long time ago, but dem just chose fi do it now and dem dig up the entire road. So some people have to walk on a another road to leave their homes and to come back home. Luckily, me live down di road and mi nuh really go a road, so it nuh affect mi. Dem dig it up from last week Wednesday, and mi see dem drop some big, black pipe round deh, like dem a go put in the drainpipe dem,” Webber said.
Meantime, in a telephone interview, Mayor of Port Antonio and Chairman of the Portland Municipal Corporation, Paul Thompson, pointed out that funds are now available to carry out drain rehabilitation work along that corridor, and that it is necessary at this time so as to mitigate against flooding.
“I understand the concerns raised by the residents. However, this is something that has to be done; and yes, they will suffer a little inconvenience. But what we are trying to do is to reduce or eliminate flooding in those areas, which have been an ongoing problem for decades now,” said Thompson.
“The drainpipes are now here, so soon and very soon everything will be back to normal. The National Water Commission made some temporary repairs to the affected pipelines, and they are expected to carry out extensive repairs to ensure that residents will get water in their pipes,” he added.