JIS News

There has been a 28.8 per cent increase in the proportion of the population using electricity for lighting purposes over the last ten years, and a 67 per cent decline in the size of the population using kerosene over the same period.
This is according to the recently released Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions 2002, which was published by the Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica.
The report said nationally, electricity provided lighting for 87.1 per cent of households in 2002, a percentage point increase over the previous year. Electricity was used by 94.3 per cent of the households in the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) with a similarly high level of access for households in Other Towns (92.4 per cent) and 80.9 for Rural Areas.
Other Towns and Rural Areas showed an increase in the use of electricity for lighting with Rural Towns having the greater increase of 4.3 percentage points and the latter, 1.4 percentage points.
The ongoing Rural Electrification Programme under the Ministry of Commerce, Science and Technology has contributed to the electrification of rural homes. Some 65.1 per cent of households in the poorest quintile used electricity compared with some 93.3 per cent of those in the wealthiest quintile. The data also noted that the average monthly payment for electricity continued to account for a substantial percentage of household expenditure.
Meanwhile, some 64.5 per cent of households surveyed had access to piped water to their dwelling while some 45 per cent had direct access to indoor taps/pipes. While the remainder utilized outdoor taps as their main water source, there has been an increasing trend in national access to piped water over the last ten years, the survey stated.
Regarding other water supply sources, standpipe and rainwater (tank) were the two other main sources, which accounted for 12.1 per cent and 15.3 per cent respectively. Trucked and bottled water were the main sources of drinking water for 1.9 per cent of households.
On the matter of sanitation, all households had access to some type of toilet facility, with 81.1 per cent having exclusive use of this facility. Over 59 per cent had access to a flush toilet. There have been positive trends in household access to water closet facilities across the three regions during the period 1993-2002, with gradual improvements noted in Other Towns, while access in Rural Areas showed a decline since 1998. Households in the KMA exhibited the highest percentage, with exclusive use of flush toilets at 73. 2 per cent, an increase of 2.9 percentage points over 2001. A similar improvement was experienced in Other Towns (from 55.0 per cent to 56.5 per cent).
Over 90.0 per cent of households had kitchens. Households in Rural Areas stood at 93.4 per cent with a greater exclusive use of kitchens compared with households in the KMA, which had 86.9 per cent, and 89.2 per cent in Other Towns. Telephone services accounted for the highest proportion of household expenses (apart from rent and mortgage) across all regions. The survey concluded that the Housing Quality Index has remained within the 60 per cent range over the past six years.
Water, lighting, toilet facilities/sanitation and kitchen facilities were the amenities examined as some of the critical indicators determining the quality of life or living conditions of a household. Some 7,000 households participated in the JSLC 2002.

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