Water is life! That means it’s a commodity we need to survive. So how are we coping in Jamaica with these eternal lock offs? Some people have been without water for months, which, in many ways, is a crisis if no one else is saying so! Our personal hygiene is taking a hit. We must feel sorry for those who have to get close to others in a taxi or public transportation.

Yeah, we know there is a shortage of rainfall and hence the dam levels are low. We understand climate change has altered our rainfall patterns and can’t really be blamed on anyone. But we also suspect there has been some pipe busting by those fixing the roads. So, we surely can assign blame for that. And have them fix it.

Jamaica is a small island that is vulnerable to drought because rains are seasonal. But since we know this from time, shouldn’t the water people make adequate preparation? Shouldn’t there be storage contingencies for when we have an abundance of rain? Are we maximizing the groundwater that we do have?

The reality is that even without drought, many Jamaicans do not have adequate access to piped water. Many in rural, and even urban, areas rely on standpipes. Communities that are facing waterless days and nights ought to manage their water supplies carefully. When water does show up in your pipes save some in your additional storage capacity. 

Jamaica’s water shortage is a man-made disaster. We need to push government to effect policies for collection, storage and distribution of water. We also need to action the larger issue of the negative impacts of climate change. The best way to handle these is to put in place measures that mitigate such risks.

Here a few tips to help you conserve water and protect your personal hygiene: 

  1. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth and washing your hands
  2. Fix any leaky faucets in your home
  3. If you are washing a lot of dishes, fill your sink with water
  4. Recycle your water where you can
  5. Use a watering can instead of a hose to water plants
  6. Turn off the tap between soapings.

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