Lloyd James is a farmer like most persons in the Penlyne Castle community in St Thomas, but he also, along with other bikers, has created another form of income generation by distributing water to residents.
Like many other rural communities, the community suffers from lack of proper running water, and so James would charge persons a small fee to catch water from the stream further up in the hills and transport it to residents’ homes.
He told THE STAR that this is his main source of income.
He said that there are days when the number of trips he makes does not always guarantee the amount of money he wants, however, it helps.
“Sometimes you have two persons for the day, sometimes you have three. (It) depends. Remember seh no money no deh fi nobody, so you have to look into it two ways,” James said.
“Sometimes I take a thousand dollars or 12 bills from somebody. Some people have all seven hundred dollars, and I still take it because remember, mi have my pickney dem fi eat food same way,” he added.
James was strapped and ready for work with five, five-gallon bottles tied down on his bike when he stopped to speak with the news team.
He said that he always travels with bottles. In the event that someone wants water immediately, he is always ready for the work.
One downside to this job, according to James is the length of time it takes him sometimes to fill the bottles and distribute them on time.
He said that customers are sometimes furious, but it is no easy task to get the water to persons because the spring is two miles from his home, and he has to travel sometimes four miles to get to his customers.
“Sometimes you find that several people would call you, and that is twenty trips, but that still depends on a number of things. There are times we get nothing for two, maybe three weeks, and its worse during rain time,” he said.
Nevertheless, James has become somewhat of an expert at this. He said he bought his bike six years ago and that he has been using it to transport water ever since.
It is not because he loves doing it, but his family depends on the money to make ends meet.
“Mi have mi kids to eat a little food, so mi have to do something. Others have them mother, sisters, so dem have to look a thing for all a dem to live,” he said.
James is not alone. Periodically, other bikers would zip past, bottles flailing in the breeze on their way to the streams to fill up.
“We used to this, man. Is years we a do this,” shouted another biker as he made his way up the mountain for water.