JIS News

More than 2,500 residents in 12 communities in eastern St. Thomas are benefiting from improvement works carried out by the National Water Commission (NWC), allowing them to receive piped water.The work was carried out through funding provided by Red Stripe on Spanish Town Road.
Some $25 million was handed over by the company to Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing, Transport Water and Works, Dr. Fenton Ferguson at a symbolic ceremony held at Amity Hall in St. Thomas on August 23.
This sum is part of a $100 million commitment made by Red Stripe, following the devastation wreaked on the island and on the NWC’s distribution network by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
The $100 million has facilitated improvement, reconstruction, upgrading and installation works by the NWC in several parishes, including Westmoreland, St. Elizabeth, Trelawny, Clarendon, Hanover and St. Thomas.
Over 13 kilometres of pipes have been laid, and holding tanks, pumping stations and interconnections built and installed for the St. Thomas project, benefiting communities such as Dumphries Crescent, Spring Piece (Arcadia), Grosette, Unity Hill, Curtis Bottom, Spring Garden, Beehive Lane, Charles Scheme, Gordon Grove (Barracks), Shanty Town, Dambush Lane and Rock Brook.
“What is without doubt, is that in each of these projects there has been a significant improvement in the water supply infrastructure. Not only that, but many individuals and communities now have a service that is essential to their daily lives,” Dr. Ferguson said.
“Without Red Stripe’s generosity, this would not have been possible and therefore they deserve full public commendation for their contribution to national development,” he added.
Managing Director of Red Stripe, Mark McKenzie told JIS News that the commitment was made as a gesture to give back something to the community.”Rural communities were selected because they were more devastated than others,” he added.
Corporate Communications Manager at the NWC, Charles Buchanan pointed out that the partnership not only allowed the company to restore its critical rural distribution network, but also to expand the service to new customers.
“It has also afforded us to improve the reliability of our service, as we seek to deliver quality water to more Jamaicans,” he said.
Mr. Buchanan said the NWC would welcome other corporate sponsors of similar initiatives, as to supply water was a costly undertaking. “We know the technical requirements, and we have the design in a number of cases for a number of when we get an intervention like this, it allows us to go in, engage a contractor and get the job done,” he said.

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