KINGSTON — The Jamaica Economical Housing Project has received $1.5 billion in the 2011/12 Estimates of Expenditure to upgrade infrastructure (water, sewerage and roads) in the rural communities of St. Ann and St. Elizabeth.
Other objectives of the project, as outlined in the Estimates, now before the House, include: alleviating the deficit of housing solutions in St. Ann, by providing a mix of affordable housing solutions, primarily for employees in the tourism industry; and to provide affordable housing solutions in St. Elizabeth.
As at December 2010 designs for housing solutions were 80 per cent complete and a ground breaking ceremony was held in December 2010. It is expected that construction will begin in the 2011/12 fiscal year on 580 housing solutions in Bell Air 1, St. Ann.
The project is being funded by the Government of Jamaica along with the China EXIM Bank.
Meanwhile, the Water Resources Authority has received $5.4 million to provide a data base for improved forecasting of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, storms and floods.
This money has been allocated under the Carib-HYCOS project, which is being funded by the Government and the European Union.
As at March 2011, parties have been identified and trained in Integrated Water Resource Management practises; and invitation of tenders for the procurement of equipment to facilitate the rehabilitation and installation of the stream flow gauge and rainfall gauge, respectively, has been sent out.
For the 2011/12 fiscal year, staff will be trained in data acquisition, validation for underground and surface water, water database maintenance/quality control and two gauging stations will be upgraded with real time equipment.
By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter