Work is expected to commence on irrigation systems in St. Catherine and Clarendon this year under a $100-million infrastructure rehabilitation project.
The funds have been provided by the Government in the 2018/19 Estimates of Expenditure, which is now before the House of Representatives.
The project, which is being implemented by the National Irrigation Commission, aims to reduce water losses and operational costs of select irrigation systems in St. Catherine and Clarendon.
It involves the installation of variable speed drives at seven stations in central and eastern regions; installation of capacitor banks at pumping stations within all regions; procurement of spare electrical motors for pumps and replacement pump for Upper Rhymesbury, Clarendon, as well as the replacement of 1,500 metres of leaking pipelines in the Upper Rhymesbury pressurised system.
The scope of work also includes restoration of declining infrastructure along the lower Old Harbour main canal in St. Catherine, undertaking canal embankment protection along the lower main canal, installation of an electricity generator at the mid-Clarendon office to provide necessary backup supply, and installation of electronic surveillance system(s) at select location(s).
In the meantime, the Government will also spend another $100 million on the construction/maintenance of water supply systems across the island.
Of the sum, $80 million is to be spent on the upgrading of rural water supplies in select parishes; $15 million will go towards rehabilitation of catchment tanks islandwide; and $5 million for the installation of guttering, storage, and solar pumps in schools and public institutions.
These works will be carried out under the Rural Water Supply Limited.