JIS News

The Ministry of Water and Housing, through its agency the Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL), is developing a master plan for rural water at an estimated cost of $50 million, to carry out the mandate of the Water Sector Policy.
“This entails the development of a comprehensive set of plans for the supply of potable water within each parish,” State Minister in the Ministry of Water and Housing, Everald Warmington explained, during his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 8.
“The plan will identify the areas served at present and the level of service provided. It will also identify the areas that do not have a safe water supply and develop strategies and designs to provide an adequate supply of water to these areas,” he said, adding that consideration would be given to projected demand, status of existing systems, water resource availability, and the socio economic profile of the communities.
Mr. Warmington informed that the Water Division of the Ministry has commenced the data gathering phase of the master plan, and that the parish councils islandwide have been engaged to assist with the provision of data regarding access to water in rural communities.
The State Minister emphasised that the master plan would be a useful tool in the efforts of the Ministry and the RWSL to implement water projects in rural communities.
“Several of these projects are on-going and some will come on stream shortly, spanning the length and breadth of the island,” he pointed out, noting that since September 2007, 14 contracts have been awarded amounting to $117.5 million. Additionally, that these contracts comprise 11 projects in seven parishes, to benefit 27,212 persons.
Mr. Warmington said that during this financial year, it is anticipated that approximately $652.5 million would be spent on projects.
“Works to be done will include planning and design, refurbishing of existing systems, and expansion and construction of new systems in areas inadequately served or not served at all,” he pointed out.
The State Minister explained that approximately $110 million would be required to upgrade and improve small parish council systems islandwide, noting that of this sum, projects totalling $35 million would be selected for implementation this year.
Mr. Warmington encouraged persons in communities to ensure that their bills are paid whenever this plan comes on stream. “These systems require maintenance and that cannot occur unless the beneficiaries pay their bills,” he told the House.