JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government is making significant investments to achieve a sustainable water sector, says Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr.
  • The Minister, who was commissioning a $9-million rainwater harvesting system at the Rock Hall Primary School in West Rural St. Andrew on October 1, said the budget for the Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL) has been increased from $100 million to 800 million, to ensure resilience against infrequency of supply.
  • He told the audience that the country is experiencing a shift in the weather pattern, with the major reservoirs being affected, and “this level of vulnerability should not be acceptable, as it poses a serious threat to our existence”, citing the need for more water harvesting.

The Government is making significant investments to achieve a sustainable water sector, says Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr.

The Minister, who was commissioning a $9-million rainwater harvesting system at the Rock Hall Primary School in West Rural St. Andrew on October 1, said the budget for the Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL) has been increased from $100 million to 800 million, to ensure resilience against infrequency of supply.

He told the audience that the country is experiencing a shift in the weather pattern, with the major reservoirs being affected, and “this level of vulnerability should not be acceptable, as it poses a serious threat to our existence”, citing the need for more water harvesting.

“The worsening climate change, and the effect it has on our natural resources, in particular the availability of water, will affect not just our homes but our economy, our peace and security, and our development. We must look towards sustainable advancement in our water sector, to build our resilience against what is projected to come,” the Minister said.

Senator Charles said the population must build resilience through changed “behaviour”, by conserving water and protecting the environment, especially the watershed areas.

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for the area, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, welcomed the rainwater harvesting system.

She said that given the effects of climate change, “it is important that we have rainwater catchments in our schools”.

For his part, Chairman of the RWSL, Councillor Homer Davis, who is also Mayor of Montego Bay, said the children will be more comfortable, knowing that they will have “potable water at all times”.

The water project included the installation of water harvesting gutters, supply and installation of three 2,000-gallon tanks, water pumps, a standby generator, and a solar system.