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JIS News

There is growing concern about the status of water worldwide, as a result of poor management and utilisation, as well as climate change, said Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang.
“There is a growing sense that water, which is critical to civilisation, could become a major concern in this decade as a result of poor management and utilisation, as well as climate change, which has resulted in changing weather patterns,” Dr. Chang said.
He was speaking in an exclusive interview with JIS News recently, at the Agency’s Half-Way-Tree Road office in Kingston, following his participation in the recently concluded Water Forum of the Americas in Brazil.
Dr. Chang said that his visit to the Brazil forum was not only as Minister responsible for water in Jamaica, but also as ‘Champion Minister’, for the Caribbean region. “The intention is to ensure that the agenda of small island developing states are adequately represented in the submissions to the World Water Forum (WWF). Out of these discussions emerged resources for funding development and institutional building projects throughout the world,” he added.
The Minster said that the region achieved the aim of putting its needs on the table in Brazil, and in the declaration that followed, it was agreed that small island developing states should be given special consideration by international agencies, as they seek to address the problems associated with climate change.
“It will be dealt with as three topics. There is the question of adaptation to climate change, which is critical to small island states. Then, there are the issues of mitigation and of institutional building, which are particular challenges to small states, whose economy may not have the capacity to do these things on their own,” he told JIS News.
“Reference was made to Grenada where, after one hurricane, some 90 per cent of the housing stock was wiped out, and Grenada had no history of being hit by a hurricane before that,” Dr. Chang said.
The Water Forum of the Americas was held from November 24-25 in Foz do Igua