JIS News

More than 14,000 residents in several districts in Central Westmoreland should have access to potable water soon, as the Venture River water supply and distribution project is nearing completion.
This is one of six water supply projects being carried out across the island by the National Water Commission (NWC), in association with the Red Stripe Deageo Foundation, which made a donation of $100 million to the NWC shortly after hurricane Ivan in September 2004. The donation is specifically for the improvement and upgrading of water supply infrastructure across the island, particularly those that were affected by the hurricane.
In an interview with JIS News, Community Relations Manager in the Western Division of the NWC, Lisa Golding, explained that work began on the project since early 2005, with approximately $36 million spent so far. She pointed out that the work primarily entailed upgrading of the existing Venture River plant from 130,000 gallons of water per day to 1.5 million gallons per day.
She noted that some of the communities to be served by the new facility included Fort Williams, Hertford, Strawberry, Grange, Friendship and Burnt Savannah.
“To date, we have completed all the pump works, all the technical aspects of the project, all the chlorination equipment have been installed and checked and are in fact ready for us to begin the actual distribution to customers. What we are now in the process of doing, is sterilizing the actual transmission and distribution mains. We estimate that this should be completed within the next two weeks,” Miss Golding said.
She informed that reconstruction of the intake at Venture River was done to harness an increased volume of water; the installation of new pumping facilities and switch gears was carried out; a 250,000-gallon storage tank was put in place at Williamsfield; existing pipelines were rehabilitated and new ones installed.
Miss Golding said that the new tank should add some amount of stability to the system, as it would be serving as both a reservoir to store water as well as a reservoir to distribute the liquid.
Other projects being carried out in western Jamaica under the programme include the Woodlands/Blackgate water supply system in Hanover, the Brighton water project in Westmoreland and the Sherwood/Content programme in Trelawny.