PM urges residents to regularise illegal water connections

3 years ago

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Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, is advising residents with illegal water connections to regularise their service with the National Water Commission (NWC) as the Government works to have the commodity equitably distributed to all citizens.

“You have a very sympathetic and understanding government. There is no need to steal water. If you come to the NWC and say, ‘I want to regularise’, we will find a way to regularise you. We will find a way to ensure that you can pay according to your needs,”

he said.

The Prime Minister was addressing the virtual contract signing ceremony for the US$13-million Portmore Co-management Non-Revenue Water (NRW) Reduction Programme, at Jamaica House on Thursday.

Mr Holness stressed that the view of some citizens that they are not a part of the State and, therefore, should steal from the establishment

“should end now in Jamaica”.

“Jamaica is our country; we own it, so we shouldn’t steal from it,” he said, noting, however, that persons with illegal connections, should not fear being deprived of water.”

The Prime Minister further said that citizens should never feel that they can consume water “and escape payment because somebody else is going to pay for it”, emphasising that “that is not the case”.

He noted that the Government will have to recover the cost from theft in some way, “whether it is some form of surcharge or tax on gas, whether it is you pay more for services that the Government gives in terms of the… charging fees; in some way, the Government has to collect the revenue”.

“All of us still end up paying for it; some may pay for it more than others. But it is still the citizens who will have to pay, because the tax level will affect all citizens,”

he said.