Woman plans to provide water to families in need

A Savannah mother of two plans to distribute water to people in her community who cannot afford to pay their water bills. 

Jan Thompson said she was devastated to hear so many families in her area say they are going without running water and she wanted to find some way to help. 

Ms. Thompson has teamed up with Flowers Bottled Water and Flowers Block, which will donate 5-gallon bottles of water and bulk water deliveries to help families who cannot afford to pay their water bills. 

Ms. Thompson would not disclose how many families had requested assistance but said it was a significant number. She said she hoped more businesses, community groups and churches would jump on board also.  

“Children cannot function without water and lights [electricity]. Our kids need to be cool, calm and collected,” Ms. Thompson said. “Water is very precious and everybody needs it. It’s not a privilege, and summer is just around the corner.” 

The Water Authority did not respond to requests for comment by press time Wednesday. 

Ms. Thompson said she would hand out water each Saturday for a month but wants a more permanent solution to the problem.  

“I’m asking that we look into getting some sort of community water supply in the Cayman Islands,” she said. “We need to have a water backup here. We should have water for those people who cannot afford it.”  

Families in need can seek assistance from the Department of Child and Family Services to help pay water and electricity bills. The department helped pay utility bills for 481 families in 2012/13, compared to 609 families in 2011 and 341 in 2010.  

Flowers Group company director Dara Flowers Burke said the company is committed to working with Ms. Thompson to help provide water to those going without. 

Water will be donated to those families most in need and to those residents who are not mobile. 

People who need water can place an order with Ms. Thompson before 2 p.m. Thursday. Water can be collected from Spotts Dock in Savannah between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. each Saturday.  

To place an order or to offer support to the project, phone 928-0995.  

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Mother-of-two Jan Thomspon will hand out water to residents each Saturday. – PHOTO: Laura Buttigieg
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Great Jan! Wonderful idea. I am tired of hearing about people who have no electricity or running water as well. Then we expect our kids to do well at school and not have anger issues! Try feeding children with no refrigeration or water! Hoping you get lots of support from everyone. See you on Saturday at the dock! Everyone who can afford an extra case of water, meet this wonderful woman there and let’s all help her in this effort!

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  2. While intentions are honorable, they are coming from a wrong premise. When you believe another needs your help and you sure up their weakness with your strength, you helped them not.
    Helping others is disempowering them, making them dependent on you, saying them you are too dumb to provide for yourself, so I will do it for you. It disempowers not just families, but generations of families and makes them feel more uncomfortable, more resentful and therefore more demanding.
    You want to empower them, help them in a way that really helps.

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  3. In the UK there are protections in place to ensure private customers water supply cannot be disconnected even if they are unable to pay their bill.

    Also wondering why many of the newer houses don’t get built with cisterns underneath?

    I understand that rainwater collected can pull dirt and vegetation into the cistern and it may not be safe for drinking, but can be used to wash clothes (actually rain water is great for that as you can use less detergent (soft water)) and flush toilets.

    In an emergency it is also possible to make cistern water safe to drink by boiling for 1 minute, or by adding 8 drops of standard chlorox per gallon and let stand for 30 mins.

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