Dr. Chang Announces $17 Billion Water Supply Boost


The National Water Commission (NWC), is to spend $17 billion on the Jamaica Water Supply Implementation Project (Jamaica SIP), to boost supply over the next two years, Water and Housing Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, has announced.
Speaking in the 2009/10 Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Wednesday (July 1), Dr. Chang said the undertaking will be the “largest project of its kind in the region”, and will involve approximately 40 water supply projects which the NWC will be executing during this fiscal year.
“Jamaica SIP will be implemented over the next two years, with a further one-year maintenance period. There are many parts to this mega-project but, most importantly, it will address the perennial water supply problems which, for decades, have plagued large sections of the Kingston Metropolitan Area,” the Minister stated.
Major components and provisions of the programme for the Kingston Metropolitan Area, and urban St. Catherine include: replacement of existing Rio Cobre pipeline to save 1.2 – 2 million gallons per day; rehabilitation of Constant Spring and Seaview Water treatment plants; construction of new wells at Halls Green, St. Andrew; installation of approximately 70,000 customer meters in Ocho Rios, Kingston and St. Andrew; installation of Ferry-Red Hills pipeline, and improvements to the Forest Hills supply network; and allowance for the construction of irrigation facilities.
Once completed, Dr. Chang said the project will facilitate the flow of an additional 20 million gallons of potable water into the KMA as well as increase the supply of potable water to rural areas and improve the NWC’s operational efficiencies and financial viability.
“So the (entire) central and south St. Catherine and the western Corporate Area will not only have reliable water supply, seven days per week, but you will have adequate water to ensure the development process can proceed smoothly,” he noted.
Dr. Chang said rural communities were also earmarked to benefit from the project. These include: Kitson Town, St. Catherine; Albert Town, Trelawny; Higgin Town and Lydford, St. Ann; Mile Gully, Manchester; and Agualta Vale and Mason Hall/Carron Hall, St. Mary, which will be expanded to incorporate Guy’s Hill.
“Approval and contracting details are being finalised, but the project is expected to be completed and commissioned into service within 24 months after finalisation of a contract agreement, which we expect to be concluded during the course of August,” Dr. Chang said.
He said that the contract has been approved by Cabinet, as a part of the preconditions for the loans, and it is expected to have all of the other precedents settled before August.
“It is a major project, and we look forward to delivering it on time and to bring about improvements in the areas mentioned,” he noted.
It is being financed through loans being negotiated with local and overseas commercial banks, contractor loan contribution and NWC revenue allocation. The commercial banks involved are the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited, BNP Paribas and Soci

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