JIS News

Upwards of the next 12 months, residents from communities in St. Elizabeth are expected to benefit from a number of water schemes being developed in sections of the parish.
Water and Housing Minister, Dr. Horace Chang, advised that several projects are currently at varying stages of completion, while contracts are to be signed for the development and improvement of others.
Speaking at a recent meeting of the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, Dr. Chang said some three water systems are nearing completion, while contracts are to be signed for the development of an additional two.
“The Essex Valley water supply system, which has been long in coming, work is far advanced and completion is expected in the next calendar year. The Round Hill supply system [is being] rehabilitated and is near completion. We have signed a contract to improve the wells in New Market and White Hall, and this will take care of the Briton and the Spring Field areas; within 12 months, that zone will have piped water. Over in Santa Cruz,… work is continuing… the pumps have been bought, and I am assured that completion will be early next year,” the Minister informed.
Dr. Chang also advised that a contract for the development of the Maggoty system has been advertised, which will benefit residents of surrounding communities when completed. He, however, expressed concern over challenges being experienced with the development of the Pepper system.
“In Goshen, we have the Pepper system that we want to develop. It has (however) had some protracted problems, (as) a private citizen owns the property surrounding the wells, and we just can’t reach an agreement with him. We are giving it a little more time, and, if necessary, we will go to compulsory acquisition, which will take six to nine months. This system will benefit the parish, and parts of Mandeville,” the Minister informed.
Noting that St. Elizabeth has not had its “fair share of water improvement”, Dr. Chang said the Ministry has been making “a lot of efforts” to supply the parish with the precious commodity. He assured that, under his stewardship, “many water schemes (would) get upgraded.”
“What I outlined will bring some relief to the parish in the short term, but we have to look for expanded supplies in the future. The belt, from Black River to (the) Luana strip, which is owned by the Government, can accommodate major development that can benefit the entire parish. We have to plan ahead, and that area will receive attention. Some 350 houses will be built in Luana, and so we must find new water sources,” Dr. Chang said.