We have now been illuminated as to the National Water Commission‘s strategy for dealing with the drought. NWC chair Mark Barnett told a reporter that “the Lord will not give us more than we can bear.”
Hopefully, divine intervention will occur soon, because it looks like the drought is not about to let up anytime soon. Due to the El Nino phenomenon, which is warming the Pacific, we will continue to experience low rainfall levels for this region. Indeed, we have not had substantial rain for weeks upon weeks. It seems to thunder every afternoon, but not a whole lot happens. And the reservoirs are drying up. For the Kingston area, one major dam is at 20 per cent, while another rests at 46 per cent.
So we have even more water restrictions. My area now gets water two times a week, some regions only once a week. Think about the health implications. Less hand-washing. More time to do simple tasks like washing the dishes, bathing oneself, general household chores. As fellow blogger Emma pointed out, that takes a toll on people’s time, resulting in lateness all around, which in turn affects the economy. Of course, the health concerns should be top of mind for authorities.
However, we don’t hear much from them. The NWC finally issued a schedule for the Kingston area, but as usual, it raised more questions than answers.
An area of real concern is the effects of the current drought.
Several areas in the country remain challenged despite the large investments in water distribution.
Over the last three years, the NWC has invested more than 20-billion-dollars in some 100 capital projects island-wide.
In response to the current drought, the NWC has:
• Reactivated dormant wells to add six million gallons of water per day.
• We will immediately purchase fifteen new water trucks for drought mitigation efforts. This will cost One-Hundred-and-Eighty-Million-Dollars.
• At the same time we are making an investment of Three-Hundred-Million-Dollars in water distribution improvements for areas worst affected by the drought.
• We will be investing One Hundred and Twenty-Million-US-Dollars in the long term to bring water into Kingston Metropolitan Area.
These actions are being undertaken by the Government to ensure that our people have consistent and reliable access to water.
Climate change has removed the factor of predictability for our lives and is cause for inconvenience.
As a people, as a government it cannot be business as usual.
This is why we have taken these important steps to address the challenges of water.
Those investments sound sturdy. But what about now? Citizens continue to suffer, in more ways than one.