JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Just over 1,700 residents of Thornton and adjoining communities in eastern St. Thomas are now benefitting from improved water supply, following the commissioning of the $36 million Thornton water supply system
  • The new system now guarantees residents of Golden Valley, Montpelier, Seaforth, Sunning Hill, Prospect, and Thornton with a consistent supply of potable piped water in their homes.
  • Implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), in collaboration with the National Water Commission (NWC), the water supply project entailed the installation of a new pump, 3,600 metres of pipes, storage tanks, and a filtration system.

Just over 1,700 residents of Thornton and adjoining communities in eastern

St. Thomas are now benefitting from improved water supply, following the commissioning of the $36 million Thornton water supply system, on March 27.

The project, undertaken over nine months, was jointly funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), which provided just over $34 million through its Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), and the community, which contributed $1.47 million in cash and kind.

The new system now guarantees residents of Golden Valley, Montpelier, Seaforth, Sunning Hill, Prospect, and Thornton with a consistent supply of potable piped water in their homes.

Implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), in collaboration with the National Water Commission (NWC), the water supply project entailed the installation of a new pump, 3,600 metres of pipes, storage tanks, and a filtration system.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, assured that the Ministry is “determined” and committed to expanding and improving the provision of water islandwide, particularly in rural communities.

“Our agencies continue to work to increase the availability of potable water for all Jamaicans, from 73 per cent to 85 per cent by 2020. Water is a very empowering resource.  By providing our communities with a safe and reliable source of water…we are also improving the quality of life for all citizens,” he said.

In this regard, Mr. Pickersgill praised the JSIF’s “outstanding work” in bringing water to a number of rural communities islandwide, and commended the residents of Thornton for their inputs in ensuring completion of the new facility.

“This water supply system is a welcome investment and is expected to alleviate the water challenges that you have experienced in the past,” he said.

In her remarks, JSIF’s Managing Director, Scarlette Gillings, thanked the residents for their cooperation and patience, pointing out that “without (your) input and drive, the completion of this project would not have been possible.”

She also highlighted the input of the St. Thomas Parish Council in overseeing the project, as well as the NWC for their “collaborative role” in the project’s implementation.

“The importance of creating sustainable, safe water systems for Jamaica’s communities can never be over emphasized. The Jamaica Social Investment Fund continues to work assiduously towards the goals of (Jamaica’s long-term National Development Plan) Vision 2030,” she said.

Health Minister and East St. Thomas Member of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, welcomed the improved water system, and expressed gratitude for the broad stakeholder inputs, resulting in its completion.

He also commended the strong leadership displayed by the citizens in lobbying for and participating in the implementation of this and other developments, including a newly constructed basic school, and rehabilitated roads.