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HomeNewsArchivesHIGH, DRY NO WAY TO LIVE, RESIDENTS SAY

HIGH, DRY NO WAY TO LIVE, RESIDENTS SAY

For residents of Estate Ross on the hillside above Hospital Ground on St. Thomas, being left high and dry is neither a metaphor nor a joke.
The neighborhood surrounds the dead-end of the road that passes the Bethel Baptist Church. The Water and Power Authority ran potable water lines into the area a few years ago from above, the V.I. Independent reported, but stopped at the top of the hill above the neighborhood. And because of the steepness of the narrow road and the lack of a turn-around, most water-delivery firms won't take their trucks in to fill residents' cisterns.
The result: Residents flush their toilets with dirty water, bathe in bowls and buckets, and stop at the store every day to buy gallon jugs of purified water that they heft home for drinking and cooking.
In addition to posing health concerns and personal inconvenience, "The place is a fire hazard," 20-year neighborhood resident Bonadine Thibou said. "There are no fire hydrants. This is an area that has many households being run by women with small children, and there's no access to water."
Residents who complained to WAPA were advised to circulate a petition to have potable water service extended to the area. They did so, the Independent reported, but there has been no response by the utility or the government.
"We've been going back and forth to WAPA," Thibou said. "We went to senators, we went to different people at WAPA, but no one would give us any attention." Now, however, Sen. Roosevelt David has pledged to approach WAPA on their behalf, incredulous at the need "in this day and age to have people carrying water on their heads."

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