JIS News

Prime Minister the Bruce Golding told residents of Portmore, Tuesday night (May 26), that the Government is seeking to address decades-old sewage disposal problems in the community with Japanese Government support.
“We have made a submission to the Japanese Government, there is a special loan facility that they have provided, and we have included it in the list of projects that we have submitted to the Japanese Government for consideration,” Mr. Golding said.
He was addressing the audience at the second in the series of Town Hall Meetings he has been having to discuss the provisions of the 2009/2010 Budget with the public. It was held at the Portmore HEART Academy.
The Prime Minister explained that the problem with sewage disposal in the community stems from the fact that most, if not all, of the sewage treatment plants have outlived their usefulness, and more and more houses were built without additional sewage disposal plants constructed.
However, he said that the wastewater treatment plant has significant capacity that has not yet been utilised, and Government plans to, basically, convert the sewage treatment plant into a pumping station to collect the sewage and pump it into the Soapberry facility.
Soapberry, located north of Hunts Bay on the south St. Catherine coast, is the site of the National Water Commission’s major wastewater treatment facility, replacing smaller treatment plants serving Kingston. It is a key component for the long-term expansion of the Kingston sewerage system, and all existing and new lines will be connected thereby reducing pollution of Kingston Harbour.
“It is intended to install the pumping facilities at the existing treatment plant, and to conduit all of that sewage into Soapberry for disposal,” Mr. Golding said.
“It is an expensive operation, it is not as simple as it might appear. It involves a lot of equipment, a lot of expenditure,” he observed.
He cautioned that the financing process was slow, and that approval would not be likely before the middle of 2010.
“The Japanese Government operates on a particular cycle. They are not prepared to provide additional loan funding until your existing projects have been completed, and there are some existing projects that will not be completed before early next year. If we get that approval, we can move rapidly on that,” he explained.

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