JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government has procured 14 water pumps for the billion dollar pump and tank rehabilitation programme.
  • The equipment, slated to arrive in the island by December 31, represents the first batch of approximately 30 specialised pumps that have been ordered for the programme.
  • Minister Pickersgill told JIS News that the specialised energy-saving pumps will improve operating efficiency and reduce electricity consumption by some $250 million annually in the delivery of potable water.

The Government has procured 14 water pumps for the billion dollar pump and tank rehabilitation programme.

The equipment, slated to arrive in the island by December 31, represents the first batch of approximately 30 specialised pumps that have been ordered for the programme.

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, made the disclosure to JIS News, following a recent heads of agency and department meeting at his New Kingston offices.

“We are aiming at bringing in about 70 such pumps but the first consignment will be in the region of 28-30,” he informed.

Minister Pickersgill told JIS News that the specialised energy-saving pumps will improve operating efficiency and reduce electricity consumption by some $250 million annually in the delivery of potable water.

He noted that while the pumps are being imported the National Water Commission (NWC) will use its in-house specialists to do prefabrication and preparatory work.

The pump and tank rehabilitation programme, which will benefit close to a million citizens of the country, will see over 50 wells being rehabilitated; over 445 storage tanks assessed, repaired or replaced; 282 catchment tanks assessed and repaired; and pumps repaired or replaced where necessary. The aim is to bring thousands of gallons of potable water to residents in rural Jamaica.

“The programme is very important because there is an imbalance between the availability of piped potable water in built-up areas as against the rural areas and so it’s imperative we address that,” Minister Pickersgill told JIS News.

He said the initiative will address unreliability issues and increase the storage capacity to mitigate the effects of drought.

Research, he said, shows that of the over 450 steel and concrete tanks existing islandwide approximately 90 per cent of them have fallen into disrepair.

“When you think of the combined capacity of those tanks, they will solve a lot of the water woes and problems rural citizens face. Many Jamaicans (in rural areas) have got so sophisticated that they have abandoned the traditional concrete tanks, and former methods of collecting water and left them in a state of disrepair. Once we get those tanks going, there will be a marked difference in the delivery of potable water in the parishes,” the Minister contended.

He informed that a number of parishes which suffer from persistent drought will benefit from the installation of pumps in January under another phase of the programme.

“They are going to be the primary beneficiaries as about 17 pumps will be supplied to those parishes and so Members of Parliament, who have been complaining bitterly, their constituents will experience some relief,” he noted.

Minister Pickersgill, in the meantime, is imploring Jamaicans to continue rain- water harvesting to ensure adequate supply of water during dry periods.

 

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