$600M to be Spent on Potable Water Systems in Clarendon

Story Highlights

  • Three communities in Clarendon have been prioritised to receive potable water within the next 18 months
  • 22,000 residents in South West Clarendon, currently have difficulties with their potable water system
  • Several strategies are being undertaken by the Ministry to deal with the lack of potable water

Three communities in Clarendon have been prioritised to receive potable water within the next 18 months, under a project expected to cost the Government close to $600 million.

This was disclosed by Minister of State in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Ian Hayles, on Tuesday, August 20, as he toured several communities, which are among the worst affected in South West Clarendon.

“The three priority areas are Rhymesbury, Kemps Hill, and Vernamfield. Those are the three water supply schemes/systems we will be dealing with in the short term,” the Minister said.

He told JIS News that the close to 22,000 residents in South West Clarendon, currently have difficulties with their potable water system.

Mr. Hayles said the focus on the three communities is part of a greater campaign where some $8.1 billion will be spent to provide potable water for Jamaicans.

According to the Minister, several strategies are being undertaken by the Ministry to deal with the lack of potable water in some communities across the island.

These strategies, he said, fall under the Ministry’s ‘Pump and Tank’ programme as well as the National Water Commission’s (NWC) ‘K-factor’ programme.  The ‘Pump and Tank’ programme will shortly be implemented through Rural Water Supply Limited.

Minister Hayles told JIS News that there are some simple strategies that can be implemented in the short term as well as some long term options.

“Potable water is available but there is some adhoc to the NWC system also. For example at Vernamfield – plenty of water available – but it just needs a decent pump and tank to get it going again,” he stated.

Other strategies to be implemented to serve the remaining communities will be undertaken under the NWC’s K-factor programme.

“In terms of the K-Factor programme that will be going to the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) in the next three weeks and as soon as we get approval from the OUR, we will then proceed with the whole procurement process,” he informed.

Minister Hayles noted that, where applicable, efforts will be made to ensure that locals are employed at every stage.

He also implored residents to begin making preparations to ensure that when the service is supplied, they pay their monthly bills.

“We cannot be striving to achieve our goal for Vision 2030 of ensuring that 85 per cent of our people have water if consumers don’t pay their water bill.  It is that important… you have to pay your water bill,” he implored.

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