Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, is urging residents of West Central St. James, in particular, and the parish in general, to pay their water bills on time.
Addressing a ceremony in Gutters, Granville, in St. James, where a water supply system was officially commissioned into service on May 22, the Minister said residents of the constituency currently owe the National Water Commission (NWC) over $500 million, while some $2 billion is owed by citizens of St. James.
“This is frightening. You know what I could do with that kind of money or even half of it,” the Minister said.
Mr. Pickersgill is urging residents to ensure that they treat the water bill the same way they treat other bills, to ensure that a constant supply is guaranteed.
He pointed out that the NWC remains the biggest customer of the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited, paying an estimated half a billion dollars monthly, which makes the company heavily dependent on customers paying their water bills.
The Minister noted that some $8 billion is being spent by the Ministry on a “pump and tank” programme, which is aimed at getting potable water to citizens in drought stricken communities.
Meanwhile, Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Ian Hayles, said the payment of water bills should be treated along the lines of a ‘partner’ among friends.
He argued that if this ‘partner’ is honoured by all customers of the NWC, the task of getting and maintaining a steady and reliable source of potable water to customer will become easier.
By Marlon Tingling
Photo by: Marlon Tingling