Jamaicans warned of water crisis

KINGSTON, Jamaica: As the nation continues to experience drought, Jamaicans are being begged to conserve water to stave off a severe crisis.

Minister of Water and Housing Dr. Horace Chang made the plea, calling on citizens – particularly those living in the Kingston metropolitan and surrounding areas – to employ every water conservation method possible.

“I am not in any way trying to frighten the country, but the reality is that with only 400 million gallons of water in the Mona Dam, unless we take the kind of dramatic measures we are announcing and actively implement them, the reservoir could run dry before the major rainy season in October next year,” said Dr. Chang.

The minister added that if the drought continues and if citizens disregard calls for serious and responsible conservation methods, the consequences could be dire.

“We will have to do everything feasible by means of educational and other methods, to take all the steps necessary in the face of the possible challenges ahead,” said Chang. “We must therefore involve the general public and use all the technology available and whatever financial resources that can be spared.”

Chang said even though Jamaica has long been regarded as the “land of wood and water”, Jamaicans must come to grips with the present situation and make a concerted effort to protect, conserve and manage the water that is available.

“We have started to talk about conservation methods and how each citizen can help. We will be going on air as often as we get the chance to do so…and by mid December we will be doing some public education programs, so that the general public can be more sensitized on their role in all of this,” said Chang.

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