Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis slammed House Speaker Halson Moultrie after a video of him touting the installation of a water pump in his Nassau Village constituency made the rounds on social media last week.
The video depicted Moultrie testing the pump, which he said was off Sequoia Street. Moultrie said the pump was one of four recently installed in his constituency. He said another three will be installed soon.
“The entire community should have access to good potable water,” he said.
Davis, however, warned against the use of unregulated pumps, noting that they pose health and safety risks for residents.
“The installation of unregulated, unsanitary and unsafe manual well pumps in common areas by Halson Moultrie, the speaker and the member of Parliament for Nassau Village, in that constituency is reckless as these wells put the health and safety of the residents at risk,” Davis said in a statement.
He added, “There is a formal study commissioned by the Water and Sewerage Corporation in collaboration with an international lending agency confirming that untreated well water is generally unsafe for human consumption and in many cases found to be contaminated with fecal matter and E. coli bacteria.
“Therefore, every effort must be made to connect every home to the public water supply network. The government, therefore, should know better than to allow Mr. Moultrie to do this.
“Further, there are no structural or sanitation measures in place to protect the public health against contamination or sabotage of the well.”
Davis said the move was an irresponsible one, and questioned whether it should be common practice in the 21st Century.
“The water supplied through all public faucets has always been sourced from the Water and Sewerage Corporation, where the potability of the water is constantly monitored and confirmed,” he said.
“That is what a responsible government does.
“The government does not sanction the use of unregulated private wells for health and safety reasons, and each property is required by law to be connected to the city water supply system as a condition to secure an occupancy certificate.
“This is how the state ensures the potability and safety of the water supply while protecting the health and well-being of the general public.
“The prime minister must say if this is a new policy of his government and whether this practice is the new normal for our people in the 21st century.”