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Two hundred and twenty five residents of Crystal City, Prospect, Eastern St. Thomas, will soon benefit from improved sanitation facilities.

The scope of work involves the construction of bathroom facilities for 22 houses, inclusive of water closet, lavatory basin, shower and multipurpose outdoor wash area. It is expected to commence later this month and should be completed by May, at a cost of $41 million.

The Crystal City Sanitation project falls under the Community Investment Project, is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).

Speaking at the signing ceremony at the Blumah Palace, St. Thomas Thursday (January 12), Minister of Health, Hon. Fenton Ferguson, noted that proper sanitation systems are critical in reducing health hazard in the society.

Mr. Ferguson, who is also Member of Parliament for the area, commended the stakeholders for ensuring that risk reduction initiatives materialize. He explained that the residents were relocated years ago and, through a partnership with the National Housing Trust (NHT) and other entities, lands were provided for the houses.

"You were moved from a facility where there was no security of tenure, to a situation now where there is security of tenure and we want to encourage you, as you receive your sanitation project, that you will bear that in mind in the end," he said.

Project Manager at JSIF, Celia Dillon, said that in an effort to ensure maintenance and sustainability of the facilities, direct beneficiaries will participate in a series of maintenance and hygiene training exercises, to equip them with the necessary skills for proper sanitation practices.

"A key component of the training will be sensitization in regards to the importance of bill payments for water, to ensure that access to a consistent water supply to attend to your sanitation needs is never denied," she said.

Providing a breakdown of the figures, she said that the community will contribute $5.2 million, through various activities. This contribution includes provision of employment coordinators, land for construction, bushing and clearing of roadway in preparation and security for material and equipment, among other things.

President of the Prospect Benevolent Society, Lloyd Dormer, in commending the stakeholders, said the project will ensure that the residents have access to proper sanitation.

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