Work Underway on $17 Billion Jamaica Water Sector Improvement Programme


Work has begun under the $17 billion Jamaica Water Sector Improvement Programme with exploratory drilling, while samples from bore holes are currently being examined.
“In anticipation of the new pipeline from Bog Walk (St. Catherine) to Kingston, the exploratory drilling of the small holes along the Bog Walk Gorge are now taking place, which started on the weekend,” said Minister of State for Water and Housing, Hon. Everald Warmington.
He informed that a contractor’s office has been established at the Constant Spring Water Treatment Plant and equipment has been placed on order for the early stages of the project.
In addition, some 70,000 new water meters will be put in for customers, he said in a speech read by Managing Director of the Rural Water Supply Limited, Mr. Peter Clarke, at a symposium this morning (April 26) at the Terra Nova hotel in Kingston.
Mr. Warmington informed that the project, which is being spearheaded by the National Water Commission (NWC) should bring an end to the current water problems affecting the Kingston Metropolitan Area.
There will be several spinoff projects, which will bring water to a number of rural parishes. “It will augment the excellent work being done in our rural communities by agencies such as the Rural Water Supply Ltd.,” he stated.
The Water Sector Improvement Programme is among a number of initiatives being undertaken by the Government as it seeks to increase the access of Jamaicans to potable water.
Mr. Warmington informed that some $9 billion has been allocated to the Ministry to finance several water projects under the NWC’s capital programme. “This is by far the largest allocation ever for water in Jamaica,” the State Minister declared.
Additionally, he informed that in the last financial year seven more systems in rural parishes were completed and commissioned at a total cost of just over $147 million.
These systems will serve approximately 20,769 persons in seven communities, including Cascade in St. Ann; Colbeck Heights, Bois Content, and Golden River in St. Catherine; and Piece River and James River in Clarendon.
The State Minister also informed that the Ministry has commissioned a number of other small water schemes developed by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) in tandem with the residents of several rural communities.
“The commissioning of these systems is an indication that we are making progress towards achieving our goals for water, but achieving these goals is one thing; sustaining these goals will be the other challenge,” he argued.
He further said the country’s development agenda must be tied to the provision of potable water for its people, as the lack of water is linked to poverty, in the same way prosperity is linked to the provision of a healthy water supply.
This morning’s symposium on ‘Ductile Iron, Water and Sewer Pipe Fittings, Gratings and Covers’ was organised by ESTAC Industrial Agencies Ltd. in collaboration with French company, Saint Gobain, known as the leading supplier of ductile iron technology.
It aimed to inform representatives in the water sector on the newest and most advanced technology in water conservation.

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