The Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL), of the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, has undertaken 20 water catchment projects in the parish of St. Elizabeth, since January 2012.
This was done at a cost of $15 million, funded primarily by the Ministry.
General Manager of Engineering at RWSL, Douglas Wilson, told JIS News that the projects are aimed at providing accessible water supply to rural areas in St. Elizabeth, currently not served by the National Water Commission (NWC).
He noted that of all the parishes, St. Elizabeth is considered one of the driest and most severely affected by water shortage, hence the need for the execution of the projects.
"There are several components involved in some of the projects, including pipe laying, water proofing, catchment tank repairs and fencing. So, whether citizens have to catch water from a catchment tank or a stand pipe, the RWSL aims to provide accessible water to the parish of St. Elizabeth, considering the many challenges faced," Mr. Wilson tells JIS News.
Some communities that have benefitted under the various projects are: Prospect, Clifton, Frazer, White Hill, Braes River, Northampton, Treniel, Hodges Land, Ivor Cottage, Rose Hall, Springfield, Ballards Valley, Ipswitch, and Merrywood.
He also mentioned that the RWSL provides consultancy and engineering services to the NWC, and other government agencies, which include accessible water supply, waste water treatment, and other civil works, in tandem with the goals spelled out in Vision 2030.
Vision 2030 Jamaica is the country’s first long-term national development plan, which aims at enabling Jamaica to achieve developed country status by 2030. It is based on a comprehensive vision: "Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business."
Mr. Wilson said there are some rural communities still without potable water, and that is being addressed. He added that the mandate of the company is to develop projects to close the gap, irrespective of the location, or the extent of the project.