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Story Highlights

  • Jamaicans who owe outstanding sums to the National Water Commission (NWC) are being urged to settle their accounts.
  • Making the call, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, said the NWC is currently owed $20 billion as a result of citizens not paying their bills.
  • The Minister is also appealing to persons with illegal connections, to get in touch with the NWC and regularise their systems.

Jamaicans who owe outstanding sums to the National Water Commission (NWC) are being urged to settle their accounts.

Making the call, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, said the NWC is currently owed $20 billion as a result of citizens not paying their bills.

The Minister is also appealing to persons with illegal connections, to get in touch with the NWC and regularise their systems.

Speaking in Trelawny at the official commissioning of the Clarks Town Water Supply Pipeline Replacement Project on March 6, Mr. Pickersgill said the NWC will shortly be embarking on a major collection drive, with the aim of raking in at least $5 billion of the outstanding sum.

“I was hauled over the coals before the Standing Finance Committee (of Parliament) to say how we are going to bridge the gap of some $3 billion and all we have to do is to collect about $5 billion of the $20 billion. So, let me say here and now, we are going to be embarking on a serious programme of getting some of that money. Yes, there might be some amnesty involved, but that is to put you on notice,” the Minister emphasised.

Meanwhile, Mr. Pickersgill expressed satisfaction with the level of work being done by agencies of the Ministry in Western Jamaica to satisfy the water needs of citizens.

“In addition to the work being done by the NWC, the Rural Water Supply Limited has completed the rehabilitation of several catchment tanks at Freeman’s Hall, Top Alps, Sawyers, Mahogany Hall, Bottom Alps and Boucher’s Hall in the parish of Trelawny at a cost of some $50,000,” he noted.

The Minister said this should ease some of the water challenges being experienced by persons in those communities.

Mr. Pickersgill added that work is on-going, not only in Trelawny, but in several other parishes.

“Over the next two months, I will be commissioning water supply systems at Bogue in St. Ann; Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth; Haining, Portland and Hagley Gap, St. Andrew. The Ministry and its agencies are determined to increase the availability of potable water for all Jamaicans and improve the quality of life for all the citizens of this country,” the Minister said.