JIS News

Jamaicans are being encouraged to play a more active role in ensuring the country’s water security as the Government moves to implement policies to secure the nation’s water resources.

Water security is the capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of and acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development.

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, said amid the impact of climate change on the quality and quantity of water, Jamaicans must play their part in the usage, treatment, and storage of potable water.

“In our own small developing country, water security requires an all-hands-on-deck approach to combat the effect of climate change on lives and livelihoods. Dry periods and drought are recurring features in Jamaica and are becoming more erratic,” he noted.

Mr. Samuda was speaking at a ceremony to commission into service the 100,000-gallon West Gate Hills number-2 storage replacement tank in West Gate Hills, St. James, on June 16.

His comments came against the backdrop of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2022, which was observed on Friday, June 17.

Minister Samuda stressed that water security cannot be seen as a government issue alone, noting that “it is a long-standing matter that requires all Jamaicans to play their part in the usage, treatment, and storage of this precious commodity”.

“There will have to be policy changes coming from the Government to force those who don’t readily accept their role, to play their part,” he said, noting that he intends to discuss the matter with the Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Marlene Malahoo Forte.

Meanwhile, Mr. Samuda said that the National Water Commission (NWC) has been implementing several operating strategies to minimise reduction in supply during periods of drought.

“The NWC has increased valving and regulations, increased trucking of water to higher elevated areas and to the most vulnerable,” he pointed out.

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