JIS News

Minister of Water and Housing Donald Buchanan on Wednesday (Feb. 15) broke ground for a water supply system which will serve the Christiana and Spalding areas of the parishes of Manchester and Clarendon.The system will cost some $166 million, and is to be constructed by the National Water Commission (NWC). Speaking at the groundbreaking activity, which was carried in the Alston community of North Clarendon, Mr. Buchanan explained that the new system would directly benefit some 10,000 persons.
“The Christiana/Spalding Water Supply project at completion will provide improved piped water supply to the project areas and initiate a reduction of unaccounted for water to 40 per cent by the end of 2009. Areas to be served include Alston, Santa Hill, Bailleston, Zinc Shop, Spalding, White Shop, Comfort, Laughton Town, Bullocks and adjoining areas,” he said.
He informed that work on the project would include: the construction of a new intake at the joining of the Cave and Yankee Rivers; construction of a new water treatment plant at Two Meetings; construction of a new high lift pump station at the water treatment plant to pump water in two stages to Spalding; construction of a new storage reservoir, a new high lift pump station and a new pumping main from the Bailleston reservoir to Spalding; rehabilitation of the existing transmission network, reservoirs and pumping stations; as well as replacement of existing connections.
The project is being done through grant funding from the European Union under phase two of its Rural Water Project.
The project is expected to run for 20 months with the construction component to be completed by September 2007 and the work will be carried out by Contractors M & M Ltd. in collaboration with consultants H.P. Gauff.
Pointing out that work was also being undertaken on the Milk River Water Supply project in Clarendon, and that work was expected to begin soon in Shettlewood, Hanover, and Hope Bay, Portland, Minister Buchanan said that his Ministry had worked to give in-house water access to more than 70 per cent of Jamaican households; to provide 85 per cent of the island with potable water; and projects to have potable water for all of Jamaica by 2010.
He mentioned that during the 2006/2007 financial year, the NWC would spend $750 million to rehabilitate and improve a number of existing water supply facilities.
“Additionally, the NWC has already received the first shipment of pipes and fittings valued at US$12 million being procured from China. Another shipment is now being awaited. These pipes will be used on a range of mains replacements and water supply extension projects in virtually all 14 parishes across the island,” he said.
He also noted that the Ministry’s Carib Engineering Corporation Limited (CECL), a fully owned government company, was being transformed into the Rural Water Supply Company to focus entirely on the further development of water supplies in rural Jamaica.
Member of Parliament for Northwest Clarendon, Richard Azan pointed out that the new system would relieve inconsistent water supply problems for seven primary and high schools, one community college and four basic schools in the area.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Northeast Manchester Audley Shaw also noted that the system would lessen the already stretched workload of the Moravia water supply system, which now assists in serving a large number of communities in North Manchester and Clarendon and allow the Moravia system to better service sections of Northeast Manchester.