JIS News

The Ministry of Water and Housing recently allocated $30 million to Parish Councils throughout Jamaica, to assist in the trucking of water, as a way to help address the severe water woes being faced by Jamaicans, as the drought continues.
This brings to $63 million the total amount that has been allocated to Parish Councils to take water to affected communities since May 2008.
Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, told JIS News that within the next 12 to 24 months, a number of parishes that have been plagued with severe water shortage will begin to receive adequate supply.
“This will be possible through the US$211 million (approximately J$19 billion) Jamaica Water Supply Improvement Project, which will bring about a massive rehabilitation and restructuring of our water supply. This will include a programme to improve our water infrastructure by reducing the amount of water loss after production,” Dr. Chang said.
And even as the Ministry does all it can to ease the water shortage situation, Minister Chang is once more making a call to citizens to “make a concerted effort to protect, conserve and manage the water that is available throughout this crisis.”
The allocation by the Minister comes against the background that many areas in Jamaica have not had any significant rainfall since November 2008.
Speaking at a meeting at the Ministry recently, head of the National Water Commission (NWC), Mr. E.G. Hunter warned persons to take the drought seriously.
“The drought is an objective reality. The rainfall pattern has been such that we have not had any substantial rainfall in the major catchment areas since November of 2008. The usual rainfall in April/May (last year) did not occur,” Mr. Hunter said.
“We are rationing water. The standard operating procedure from now on is that there will be low water pressure and water lock-offs, simply because there is just not enough water coming from the rivers into the Hermitage Dam. Without sufficient replenishment of the water in the Hermitage Dam, there is no option but to ration,” he warned.

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