JIS News

Some 78 fire hydrants will be fixed this year as the Jamaica Fire Department embarks on a programme to rehabilitate hydrants across the island.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, made the announcement at a meeting of the St. Ann Parish Council and heads of agencies held on Thursday (July 23) at the Council Chambers in St. Ann’s Bay.
He said that the programme of repair would be carried out over a three-year period, with more hydrants to be fixed every year.
“We are also looking at a programme of repairing non-serviceable trucks in (the Brigade) and we hope to deploy these trucks into the deeper rural areas,” he informed.
Turning to water needs in St. Ann, the State Minister said that $3 million would be allocated to restore catchment tanks, and $2 million for the trucking of water to communities.
He informed that the University of Technology (UTech) has designed a prototype solar water pump, which is intended to address long-term water storage needs throughout the island. The pump should be installed for testing within the next few months, he said.
“What they have designed for us is a unit that works when the sun shines so that we can pump during the daytime and store, so that people can have access to it when the sun is not shining,” he explained.
In the meantime, Mr. Montague promised that $1 million would be allocated for repair and refurbishing works at the St. Ann Infirmary, as a result of needs expressed by Acting Matron of the facility, Sheryl Flemming-Smith.
The money will go towards the tiling of the matron’s quarters, the purchase of mop buckets, replacement of mesh in the kitchen, removal of the asbestos ceiling and strengthening of a section of the perimeter wall.
Among the agencies represented at the meeting were the St. Ann Fire Brigade, National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), and the St. Ann Infirmary.

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