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JIS News

Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang, who has ministerial responsibility for the National Water Commission (NWC), recently signed a US$24 million contract with the Hazama Corporation of Japan, for the construction of the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) Water Supply Project, Lot II.
When completed, the project will help to bring 5.3 million gallons of water to areas of St. Catherine and provide the precious liquid to 245,000 Jamaicans.
“We are signing one of the larger infrastructure contracts and one of considerable importance, as it will bring water to South St. Catherine and South East St. Catherine, which include the fastest growing communities in Jamaica,” Minister Chang told the gathering at his 25 Dominica Drive offices, in New Kingston, where the contract was signed.
He said the fast growing areas of St. Catherine have been without adequate water supplies for a significant period of time, adding that as a result of this lack of adequate water, no new major construction plans have been approved for some areas in St. Catherine.
The provision of water in this area, he said, would assist in the development process.
The work under the contract should be completed by May 26, 2010. Minister Chang entreated the developers to complete the work on time and within the budget.
Takashi Okamoto, of Hazama Corporation, said he would adhere to the terms of the contract. “We will be assisting the Government to finish the project. Safe water is needed for the people of Jamaica to maintain this beautiful island,” he said.
Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica, Masahiro Obata, confirmed his country’s intention to continue assisting Jamaica in similar projects.
The Japanese Government recently provided the NWC with equipment to assist them in dealing with the problem of non-revenue water, which includes water lost to theft and leaks.