JIS News

Government’s intention to provide every Jamaican with access to a safe water supply by 2015, has been underscored by Minister of State in the Ministry of Water and Housing, Everald Warmington.
Giving the main address at the handing over ceremony for the Bybrook Water Supply system in Portland on Wednesday, December 3, Mr. Warmington said that intention was in keeping with the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal of providing by the year 2015, an adequate and reliable water supply to people who are currently without that service.
The project was completed at a cost of $14.3 million, with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), providing $13 million and the community contributing $1.3 million.
It involved the construction of a small dam, the building of a tank, chlorination and filter system, and the laying of 6,700 metres of pipelines.
A total of 1,500 persons in the communities of Bybrook and Skibo are expected to benefit from the system. Noting that while Jamaica has been able to achieve much in pursuit of the objective to provide water to every citizen by 2015, Mr. Warmington said there was still a lot of work to be done in the seven years to go before the target date, adding that the mission is not one that is simple or without challenges.
Pointing out that some of the difficulties in providing water to rural communities sometimes make the private sector unwilling to invest in that venture, he said the Rural Water Supply Limited, was created specifically to address that problem and provide for the water needs of those communities.
Asserting that that organisation was also in the process of developing a Rural Water Master Plan to identify areas presently served with water and the level of service provided, he said that while this plan is being developed, Government and its partners and stakeholders are working hard to ensure that rural communities are provided with an adequate supply of water.
In congratulating the Jamaica Social Investment Fund for the work it is doing in filling the gap in the provision of water to small rural communities, where it would not be economically practical for the National Water Commission to supply water, Mr. Warmington said the cost effective ways in which it pursues its mandate of implanting poverty alleviation projects in targeted communities, are making a major contribution to the community and national development process.
Also addressing the function were Minister of State responsible for Project Implementation in the Office of the Prime Minister, and Member of Parliament for Western Portland, Daryl Vaz, and JSIF Operations Manager, Omar Sweeney.
Mr. Vaz thanked the JSIF for the role it has played in enabling the residents of the community to have potable water, and reiterated his commitment to work to ensure that every community in the constituency be provided with it, adding that he has already made available a total of $22 million from his Constituency Development Fund, for that purpose.
Mr. Sweeney asserted that the JSIF is pleased to be associated with the project and urged the residents of the community to give the best care and protection to the system.

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