7,000 More Rural Residents to Benefit from Better Water Supply

Story Highlights

  • $200 million worth of upgrading work being carried out on the Mason River water supply system
  • The project is slated to be undertaken upwards of the next 24 months by the NWC
  • The project should significantly reduce current costs incurred to deliver water by trucks to the communities

Some 7,000 residents of Mason River, Kellits, Sandy River, and neighbouring areas in North Clarendon will benefit from improved water supply following the completion of some $200 million worth of upgrading work on the Mason River water supply system.

The project is slated to be undertaken upwards of the next 24 months by the National Water Commission (NWC), which is funding it through its K-Factor programme.

The works entail replacement of existing aging pipelines, and installation and rehabilitation of pumps, reservoirs and tanks, to enable the storage and distribution of water to householders.

The project, being undertaken in partnership with Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL), is one of 26 which the NWC have been mandated by the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change, to implement by 2015. The aim is to improve the supply of water to approximately 250,000 residents islandwide.

It is also the 10th such collaboration that the NWC and RWSL have undertaken in Clarendon in recent years.

Ground for the first phase, being carried out at a cost of $21 million, was broken during a ceremony in Stacyville, Clarendon, on Friday, August 16. Work in this phase, being carried out by Alcar Construction and Haulage Company Limited, commenced in early July, and is slated for completion within five weeks, according to the firm’s representative, Guy McCallum.

Speaking at the ceremony, Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change Minister, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, noted that access to water is regarded “one of the most challenging” undertakings on any country’s agenda.

He stressed that “without a reliable water supply, we cannot improve human health and sanitation, preserve ecosystems, or grow economies.”

“Water is, indeed, the single most critical pre-requisite for human sustenance and our development goals. This administration knows that good, responsible governance is the key for strategically managing our water resources. As is evident today (with the groundbreaking), we are steadily rising to the challenge, because we must,” he stated.

Minister without Portfolio, Ministry of Finance and Planning, and North Clarendon Member of Parliament, Hon. Horace Dalley, in welcoming the project, said it will be a “life changer” for the beneficiaries.

Mayor of May Pen, Councillor Scean Barnswell, said the project should significantly reduce current costs incurred to deliver water by trucks to the communities.

“It costs the Clarendon Parish Council approximately $11 million to truck water into the areas serviced by the Parish Council. So we will now be seeing a reduction…(and) there will be some savings (when the project is completed),” he said.

Chairman of the NWC, Dr. Leary Myers indicated his confidence that the project “will have as great an impact on the lives of our residents”, as those undertaken in other parts of Clarendon.

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