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JIS News

The $83 million water supply system in the Milk River community of South West Clarendon is nearing completion.
During a tour of several sections of the area on Friday (Oct. 20), State Minister with responsibility for Water in the Ministry of Housing, Transport, Water and Works, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, told JIS News that “the Milk River Water Supply project is one of four projects under the European Union (EU) grant- funded project.
It is a significant project for South West Clarendon because it is impacting on about 13 districts. Actual work started in January this year and the project is about 95 per cent complete”.The project is being carried out jointly with the EU and the National Water Commission (NWC) with M and M Construction Limited as the main works contractors.
“From all indications we have already seen the response of the citizens in the area because it is certainly going to have a very extensive impact. So far the NWC has made connections to about 447 customers and we expect that these numbers will increase,” he noted, adding that the water supply and quality to the Milk River Spa among other areas would be improved.
Dr. Ferguson further informed that this ‘flagship’ water project was expected to impact at least 6,000 persons.
The storage facility has a 1.13 million litre (300,000 gallon) capacity and some of the communities expected to benefit include Preddie, Scotts, Cherry Hill, Rest, Duncans, Milk River, Farquhar area, Clifton, Harrison Town, Pass Side and Dee Side.
Dr. Ferguson also spoke about utilizing a well at Cooksgate, which is now being used by the New Yarmouth sugar factory. “Our intent is that from discussions that we will have with New Yarmouth (sugar factory) and with the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, we will be in a better position to look at the well. This will have a significant impact as it relates to areas going into Race Course, Hayles, Coffal and Gimme-me-bit.it will even boost areas going as far as Portland Cottage,” the Minister said.
Areas such as Springfield will get an additional three kilometres (km) of 10 centimetre lines and another 1.5 km of five centimetre lines. Meanwhile, in the Banks community, 100 lengths of line will be installed to improve the water supply in that area.
Other participants in the tour included officials from the NWC and the Ministry. Turning to the Rhymesbury station, Dr. Ferguson noted that modification to the system would be required to improve water supply to the communities of Ebony Park, Comfort, Agronomy, Gravel Hill and Rhymesbury.
“I believe that this is a worthwhile project to pursue. I have already asked for the estimates for the upgrading work and on the basis of those estimates we will know the kind of timeline that will be involved in getting the project started,” he said.
Minister Ferguson said that these works would see major improvement in the supply of water to South West Clarendon within the next two to three months. He added that his Ministry was working assiduously towards supplying potable water to every household by 2010, as set out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“We have been meeting and looking at medium and long term strategies. That is why I have already visited every parish since assuming office in April. We are looking at the issues in a clear conceptual way,” Dr. Ferguson stated.
The State Minister also visited Clarendon on July 21 where he toured improved water systems, and observed work in progress on the establishment of water systems in North and Central Clarendon at a cost of some $21 million.