Development of Jamaica’s Water Sector Policy and Rural Master Plan by the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, has been further boosted by the provision of $17.7 million in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure, currently being reviewed in the House of Representatives.
The undertaking, which commenced in April 2011, is intended to provide access by some 85 per cent of rural households to safe potable water. This, through development of a Rural Water Master Plan, which will provide the foundation for an integrated, strategic, comprehensive and systematic approach to addressing the planning and implementation of projects fulfilling the needs of rural residents without potable water.
Additionally, through the establishment of a Water Sector Policy, and Strategy and Action Plan, realistic timeframe will be established for the provision of full access to safe potable water, while the role of the private sector in water management will be reviewed.
The project, which has been funded primarily through Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loans and grants, has, up to March 2012, seen, among other things, completion of the terms of reference for a steering committee, and consultant.
It is anticipated that the Rural Master Plan will be completed during 2012/13, with the review of the Jamaica Water Sector Policy, Strategy and Action Plan, commencing during the period.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter