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Story Highlights

  • More than 5,000 residents of Bellas Gate, St. Catherine and surrounding communities will soon enjoy improved water supply to their homes, with the upgrade of the Goldmine Water Supply System.
  • Ground was symbolically broken during a ceremony on Friday, July 17, to start the rehabilitation works which are to be carried out over six months.
  • The Government is fully committed to doing all it can to ensure that the water services throughout Jamaica are constantly expanded and improved, to serve the needs of citizens no matter where they live.

More than 5,000 residents of Bellas Gate, St. Catherine and surrounding communities will soon enjoy improved water supply to their homes, with the upgrade of the Goldmine Water Supply System, being undertaken at a cost of $75 million.

Ground was symbolically broken during a ceremony on Friday, July 17, to start the rehabilitation works which are to be carried out over six months.

Speaking at the event held at the Bellas Gate Primary School, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, assured that the Government is fully committed to doing all it can to ensure that the water services throughout Jamaica are constantly expanded and improved, to serve the needs of citizens no matter where they live.

“(The project is as a) result of my insistence that the constituency of West Central St. Catherine deserves attention and that as a Government, we must provide greater social services to the people of this part of Jamaica,” she said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller noted that over the years, the Goldmine Water Supply System has fallen into a state of disrepair, and is now in need of major rehabilitation. These works, she said, are even more critical as the existing system is severely affected by the extreme drought now affecting the country.

“The fact is that the current state of the water supply system is making the severe effects of the drought worse for the people of this area. As we improve water management, it is important that we improve the capacity of this system to provide a reliable supply to the people,” she said.

The Prime Minister noted that this rehabilitation project is one of several initiatives the Government is undertaking to better manage water resources so that the country can cope better with drought situations.

“Even while we pray for the current drought to be broken, as your Government, we are doing our part to bring better water supply to more and more Jamaicans including here at Bellas Gate and surrounding communities,” she said.

The Prime Minister further expressed pleasure that despite financial difficulties, over the past three years, the National Water Commission (NWC) has invested some $20 billion on water projects for both major and rural communities all across Jamaica.

Member of Parliament for West Central St. Catherine, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, welcomed the project, deeming it a “landmark occasion”.

“It is something that we have desired for the longest while (and) it is going to make a difference (in the lives of citizens).

The project will entail: repair of the water channels to increase water volume from the sources; installation of meters to measure the inflows at the Goldmine Spring source; replacing and upgrading of filters at the plant; and repairs to the retaining walls and access bridge at the plant.

Installation of stand-by pumps, are to be undertaken as well. The project will also involve upgrading of the motor, starter and electrical works for the relift pumps; and repairs to the Bellas Gate/Cocoa Ridge Tank.

The NWC has awarded the contracts for the works to Alcar Construction and Haulage Company Ltd., Champion Industrial Equipment Ltd., and Florida Aquastore. Engineering supervision is to be provided by Rural Water Supply Limited.

The surrounding communities to benefit from the project include: Cocoa Ridge, Rhule Town, Bois Content, Bagham, Planters Hall, Marlie Hill, Breeze Mill, Hill Top, Bellefield, Browns Hall, Blue Hole, Wood Hall, Bartons, Macca Tree and Fisher Spring.