JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A total of 112 catchment tanks have been rehabilitated by the Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL) over the past two years at a cost of over $100 million.
  • The catchment tanks are benefitting some 35,000 people in several communities across the island.
  • For the 2014/15 financial year alone, a total of $41 million was expended to rehabilitate 35 catchment systems in Manchester, St. Elizabeth, St. Ann, Clarendon and Westmoreland.

A total of 112 catchment tanks have been rehabilitated by the Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL) over the past two years at a cost of over $100 million.

The catchment tanks are benefitting some 35,000 people in several communities across the island.

For the 2014/15 financial year alone, a total of $41 million was expended to rehabilitate 35 catchment systems in Manchester, St. Elizabeth, St. Ann, Clarendon and Westmoreland.

Speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, Managing Director of the RWSL, Audley Thompson, said there are some 282 catchment tanks across the island and all the systems are slated to be repaired.

General Manager for Engineering at RWSL, Douglas Wilson, said that by year-end an additional 30 tanks are expected to be rehabilitated and put back into use.

“Essentially, this programme is concentrated in the major drought areas and includes whatever repairs are necessary to bring them back to full functionality including fencing, waterproofing, repairs to the catchment area and covering for the tanks,” he stated.

He said it is important to cover the tanks with a solid material in order to protect the water from dirt, solids and the elements.

“Some of them (tanks) are quite massive but we’ve developed a programme of providing covers using a technology called ferro-cement, which is low cost, labour intensive and easy to be tasked by local workforce,” he informed.

Ferro-cement consists of cement mortar applied over layers of chicken wire or woven or expanded metal.

In addition to the tank rehabilitation, the RSWL is also undertaking a rainwater harvesting project for schools and community facilities.

This includes strengthening roofs, installing gutters and piping, and providing tanks for the collection and storage of water.