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Sep 17, 2021

Water Woes in Unitedville

Water – it is considered the source of life. But for one part of Unitedville, it is a source of contention. A villager recently reached out to our news room to say her community has been experiencing low to no water pressure for years now and the issue persists, even though the matter has reportedly been raised with the relevant authorities. And the bills from the water board keep coming, even though water access is severely reduced.  News Five’s Paul Lopez spoke two villagers about the problem.


Yuri Lopez, Unitedville Village Resident

“I have been living in this village for the past three years. It has been three years now since we have had water issues. We are experiencing at the moment, no water in our pipes. We have to wait, one, two three in the morning to get a little bit of water. After that there is no water. The pipe is dry.”


While the entire village is not affected by the issue, a significant portion is. We spoke to another resident who said while she was away her mother had no water, even to bathe.


Elise Benjamin

Elise Benjamin, Unitedville Village Resident

“We have never seen this type of water issue before. For the past three years she has been complaining a lot. I was in the Cayes working. I came home and I am seeing the problem. Some days she is out of water completely. There is no type of water. She doesn’t know how she will bath, stuff like that.”


Lopez says many of the villagers have to take the half-mile journey on a daily basis to get water when the supply is interrupted.


Yuri Lopez

Yuri Lopez

“But if you don’t have a pickup or you don’t have anything you can go and get water, then, you just have to wait. You have to dodge the water dah night so you could get lee water. And, sometimes when the water comes, it comes off right before you fill all your buckets. It has been the longest since the truck come, I saw it today. But, he only jump certain streets, goes to certain houses and that it.”


In the heat of the day water is necessary to showers, for drinking, doing the dishes, laundry and cooking.  Despite the reported water challenges being faced by this area, these women say the water bills continue to come on a monthly basis.



Elise Benjamin

She has been getting bills every month and she keeps paying because she doesn’t want to get cut out.”


Yuri Lopez

“We are paying our bills; our rate is seven-fifty a month. We pay that every month. When we do get water, sometimes our bill comes ten dollars. You know what is paying ten dollars for a month? Because, that is maybe only three days for the month. Then the other day, these past months, we have had high bills. I have a bill of sixty add dollars for water.”


The water supply system in this part of the village is operated by a water board. Lopez says funds are paid directly to a collector designated by the board. But, by and large, it appears as if there is a growing distrust.


Elise Benjamin

Definitely, we do. Actually, a lot of people have been complaining, we don’t want them to run the water board anymore. We have been complain and there have been nothing done. We don’t want the water board anymore. We want a change. Because we have been complain and there is nothing being done.”


Benjamin says many of the residents in her community are afraid to speak publicly on the issue for fear of victimization.


Elise Benjamin

“I will speak, because if many are scared, well I need the water for myself, for my child, for my mom. So, I am going to step out because if one step out, it will encourage the rest to come out and stand up for their rights you know. It is something you can’t be scared of, because when you need to shower they are having a wonderful bath. And, I need to shower right now. I want to smell good just like how they smell good. That is the reason why I am stepping out today.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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