$158 Million to Upgrade Essex Valley Water Supply Project


State Minister for Housing, Transport, Water and Works, Dr. Fenton Ferguson has revealed that $158 million would be spent to upgrade the Essex Valley water supply scheme in St Elizabeth.
The announcement was made recently by the State Minister during a tour of National Water Commission (NWC) projects located near the South Manchester and Northeast St. Elizabeth border.
“We have taken a first hand look at the New Forest Pumping Station as we are aware that there are certain difficulties being experienced by many of the residents who are served by the facility. We are now at the point where over the next three months our new Essex Valley wells should be fully functional and able to deliver the volume that will alleviate the shortfall,” he told JIS News.
Dr. Ferguson said it was estimated that an additional 1.7 million gallons of water per day would be added to the current system as result of the project.
“The residents and farmers who live and work along the border will have immediate access to at least the first one million gallons and the excess would be pumped in the direction of Junction,” he said.
He stressed that the Government was fully committed to providing all households in Jamaica with potable water by 2010.
“Currently, we are at 74 per cent, but with the establishment of a number of projects that we have in train, this figure will rise to 85 per cent and what we expect is that our rural water programme will provide the remaining 15 per cent in order for us to realise the full coverage of the island,” he said.
The State Minister pleaded with all delinquent customers in the area to come forward and make the necessary payments for any outstanding balance that might be owed to the NWC.
“I have to commend entities such as ALPART, for donating some US$500,000 to the effort, as well as the Jamaica Bauxite Institute, which is down to provide $23 million, and of course the Government which, through the NWC, will be providing the additional $100 million for the project,” he said.

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