The rehabilitated Negril Wastewater Treatment Ponds, in Westmoreland, were commissioned Wednesday March 14, by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.
The rehabilitation work was funded by Jamaica and the European Union (EU), at a cost of approximately $278 million.
Original construction of the facility was completed in 1999, to serve Negril and its surrounding communities. The upgrade has become necessary because of an increase in housing settlements and growth in the tourism sector in the area.
In her address, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the project was started during the former administration, and issued commendations for the work carried out by both the former and present Ministers of water. She described the project as “a meaningful and necessary development project."
“I am pleased we have come to this stage where the project is completed. Now all the required elements are in place and the facility is ready to better serve the people of Negril,” she said.
Noting that the works were completed within both schedule and budget, the Prime Minister said this demonstrates that as a nation “we are capable of quality cost effective and efficient performance."
She pointed out that the impact of the work carried out on the project stretches beyond the confines of the facility, providing information for important studies being done, including a Negril sewage master plan and future development needs.
Meanwhile, Head of the Delegation of the EU to Jamaica, Ambassador Paola Amadei, said she views the Prime Minister’s presence at the event as underscoring the government’s commitment to a cleaner environment and a cleaner Jamaica.
She said the project itself is a reflection of the EU’s commitment towards sustainable development, a cleaner environment and the preservation of natural resources for the benefit of future generations.
She said that an increase in the population and an increase in the tourism industry should not be allowed to happen at the expense of the country’s natural resources.
Also present at the event were: Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Celsa Nuno; Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency Josef Beck; and Ambassador of Belgium, His Excellency Frederic Meurice.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter