Kingston — Over 700 residents of the deep rural community of Richmond Hill are now without piped water after thieves ripped off two padlocks from a building and stole a water pump valued at more than $350,000.
A fuming Jamaica Labour Party councillor for the Cambridge Division, Homer Davis has since called on those responsible for stealing the valuable equipment, to return it.
He has also signalled his intention to offer a reward for the recovery of the pump which was stolen almost a week ago.
“I am appealing to those people to return the pump. It is ungodly, it is a sin to take away this benefit from these people. I say to those who have done it, have a heart, have a conscience,” Davis appealed.
“My appeal to them is to return the pump to us, or leave it somewhere. Call me, call somebody or leave it at X or Y place.”
Davis, who is also the JLP caretaker for the South St. James constituency, has also appealed to the public not to buy any pump from unauthorised persons.
Meanwhile, Courtney Robinson, president of the Richmond Hill Citizens’ Association, said the pump was discovered missing last week by an operator at the plant.
Davis disclosed that the community, which had been without piped water for decades, only got the supply last year, after he lobbied vigorously to the Rural Water Authority.
“This situation is one that, in my opinion, warrants some serious action to be taken because this area, Richmond Hill, has been without piped water ever since this place has been a community. I made representation for this area in order for the citizens to get piped water into their homes. It was developed between 2010 and 2012 whereby a brand new pump was installed and the system commissioned,” Davis expressed.
Under the initiative, water is pumped from the river to a reservoir seated at the peak of the community, then treated, before it is gravity fed through pipelines to individual households.
The water supply system is controlled by the Richmond Hill Citizens’s Association which employs technicians to man the daily operations. The customers are charged a flat rate each month and the money is used to purchase fuel to operate the pump and offset other operational costs.
Robinson who spoke on behalf of the Richmond Hill residents rued that the absence of the pump has now forced the residents to resort to fetching water from the river that runs through the community. (Observer)