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Story Highlights

  • 3,000 residents of communities in North Eastern and South Western St. Elizabeth are to benefit from improved access to potable water.
  • The project will be carried out under the Burnt Savannah/Knoxwood Water Supply Mains Replacement and Upgrading Project.
  • The project, which is slated to cost $59.6 million, will be undertaken over 20 months and is expected to commence in two weeks.

Approximately 3,000 residents of communities in North Eastern and South Western St. Elizabeth are to benefit from improved access to potable water, under the Burnt Savannah/Knoxwood Water Supply Mains Replacement and Upgrading Project.

The project, which is slated to cost $59.6 million, will be undertaken over 20 months and is expected to commence in two weeks.

Beneficiaries include residential and commercial customers, schools and other institutions in Knoxwood, Orange Grove, Exeter, Building Lane, lower Burnt Savannah, upper Burnt Savannah, Lacovia and Holland.

The project is expected to eliminate the need for trucking water to affected areas; reduce maintenance and operational cost to correct leaks; reinstate roadways and regulate supply; and reduce/eradicate water losses, thereby reducing the level of Non-Revenue Water (NRW).

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, along with Member of Parliament, St. Elizabeth South Western, Hugh Buchanan; Member of Parliament, St. Elizabeth North Eastern, Raymond Pryce; contractors, Robert Bacchus from Bacchus Engineering Works Limited and Fitzroy Donaldson from Share Con Limited signed the contract for the project, at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices, on November 14.

In his address, Minister Pickersgill said the project forms one of several being undertaken across the island to improve access to potable water and sanitation for all Jamaicans.

“Clean water is critical to all sectors of our economy and is a key component for sustainable development. We have come a long way in surmounting the challenges of creating universal access to water for our citizens, but there is much more to do,” the Minister said.

He noted that the project will set the stage for the improvement of supply in terms of efficiency and reliability for over 3,000 customers, while minimising non-revenue water and current losses.

The Minister urged the customers who will be receiving the service to honour their bill-payment obligations.

Members of Parliament for the areas, Raymond Pryce and Hugh Buchanan expressed gratitude for the works to be done, noting that the residents are appreciative.

For his part, Acting President, National Water Commission, Mark Barnett, said few issues are more important to economic development, environmental well-being and human security than water and sanitation.

“As a result of our efforts, 73 per cent of our country’s population now has in-house taps and 85 per cent of the population has access to potable water, from a range of sources and mechanisms,” he said.

Mr. Barnett urged the contractors to ensure that they deliver value for money, and to complete the project on time and within budget.

Works under the project include: an upgrade of the well station to allow for increased output, while maintaining a lower duty time for the pumps, thereby improving operational efficiency and energy consumption; and replacement of the pipelines to guarantee suitable pressure levels and adequate delivery.

Also, pipelines will be installed from the vicinity of the pumping station to the border of Burnt Savannah and Knoxwood; from Knoxwood to Round Hill; and in the lanes.

The project, which will be managed by the Rural Water Supply Limited, is being implemented by Bacchus Engineering Works Limited and Share Con Limited.