Contracts for KMA Water Project to be Tendered Next Year


The detailed engineering design and institutional strengthening components of the water project for the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) are now well advanced and the tendering of construction contracts is scheduled for 2005.
Minister of Water and Housing, Donald Buchanan, made the disclosure in the House of Representatives recently, in response to questions posed by Member of Parliament for East Central St. Andrew, Andrew Holness, regarding the status of the water project.
The project, which covers greater Spanish Town and South East St. Catherine, was allocated some $40.5 million in the 2003/04 Estimates of Expenditure.
Mr. Buchanan explained, that although the project would primarily address the needs of St. Catherine, the lower sections of Kingston and St. Andrew should also benefit as a result of the increased flows from the Rio Cobre pipeline system. He noted however, that this was contingent on the rate at which the water demand in St. Catherine increased to meet its rapidly expanding residential communities.
The Water Minister further informed that there was also an ongoing initiative being pursued with the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), to effect improvements to the water supply of the Kingston and St. Andrew sections of the KMA. The pre-design stage of this project was completed in 2003 and conditions related to the IDB/GOJ loan agreement are currently being finalized. Some $65 million has been applied to these services.
In addition, Mr. Buchanan said, subsequent to the Office of Utilities Regulation granting tariff adjustments in December 2003, the National Water Commission had prepared a Capital Works (Action Plan) Programme 2004/05, which included limited provisions for an island-wide system of rehabilitation, to include main replacement as well as the upgrading of pumping equipment and storage tanks. These works will be carried out over different phases dependent on the pace at which funds are generated from water and sewerage service sales.

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