Turning water into whine

All I know is what I’ve read: water rates are due to increase between 13-18 percent. The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has granted this in response to a request for a 19 percent rise. I’ve seen no details to back up the outcome. NWC last got an increase in 2008, of 23 percent.

All I know is that many parts of Jamaica have terrible water services. It’s a big enough problem for the National Water Commision to have a ticker on its website to report service disruptions. In its modesty, the NWC is mum about the increase on its own website.

20131009-114035.jpgA constant complaint from customers is about low water pressure. Complaints abound, too, about regular scheduled locking off of water. I wouldn’t deny that NWC may have financial issues. In August, it appealed to those who owed J$15 billion in arrears to settle their bills. They’re dealing with water thieves, too. Broken pipes and burst mains I’ve seen; well, the flowing water down the road, at least.

I don’t know if the NWC is on Twitter or Facebook, so they may be spared for now the barrage of complaints that some local enterprises have had to deal with in recent days. Would vociferous complaining matter? Maybe, not. But, it may help gauge some of the upset that is sitting out there. It’s good for people to have a voice, not just about upset over The Voice.

The quality of Jamaican drinking water is excellent, but long-suffering customers don’t want to hear that when they can’t enjoy it.

So, another price screw gets turned–after bus and taxi fares were hiked in the summer–and again on services most cannot avoid using. Not seeing any movement in wages and higher prices to bear on essentials is sowing the seeds of much unhappiness.