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Story Highlights

  • The Government is targeting an investment of US$3 billion in the water sector, to be achieved within the next 10 years.
  • “There is a requirement for capital investment in water to ensure that we have a reliable system,
  • He said this is significant for the provision of potable water for homeowners, industries and irrigation for agriculture.

The Government is targeting an investment of US$3 billion in the water sector, to be achieved within the next 10 years.

This is according to Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who was speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister on June 15.

He said the Government will be systematically seeking increases in the level of public-private partnerships to achieve the target.

“There is a requirement for capital investment in water to ensure that we have a reliable system; one that has acceptable levels of non-revenue water, and one that will make our urban centres, and in particular the Kingston metropolitan region and some small rural districts, drought resistant in the face of climate change,” he noted.

Dr. Chang said that in the meantime, the Government intends to make urban centres drought-resilient, as well as develop an adequate and satisfactory sewage collection system.

He pointed out that the capital budget for water is now $8.7 billion, but said he hopes to eventually push this to $12 billion per financial year.

The Minister said the development of the water sector is a priority area for the Government, noting that water is a basic infrastructure requirement for growth and development.

He said this is significant for the provision of potable water for homeowners, industries and irrigation for agriculture.

“If we can irrigate the southern plains of Jamaica quickly, we can quite easily achieve the initial target of five per cent growth in the country’s economy. The Government is embarking on programmes to ensure that this happens expeditiously,” he said.