JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Members of Parliament (MPs) are expected to play a greater role in the distribution of water during dry spells, particularly in rural constituencies where rough terrain makes access to potable water more challenging.
  • In an interview with JIS News, Minister of State in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Ian Hayles, said this decision was taken at the last Drought Management Committee meeting on May 18.
  • Mr. Hayles pointed out that the Ministry has a proactive strategy in place to deal with the trucking of water.

Members of Parliament (MPs) are expected to play a greater role in the distribution of water during dry spells, particularly in rural constituencies where rough terrain makes access to potable water more challenging.

In an interview with JIS News, Minister of State in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Ian Hayles, said this decision was taken at the last Drought Management Committee meeting on May 18.

He noted that MPs would also receive a financial allocation to assist in the effort.

“We’ve decided to make allocations of some $500,000 to ensure that they can use private truckers to take water across the country. [They] will assist in ensuring that there is a greater level of social water available to citizens in this time of crisis,” the State Minister said.

Mr. Hayles pointed out that the Ministry has a proactive strategy in place to deal with the trucking of water.

“Within these drought areas, the NWC intends to move loading bays closer to the drought areas to ensure that trucks can load at closer proximity to deliver water. In terms of the Rapid Response trucks, we have decided to re-allocate some eight trucks in severely hit parishes, such as Clarendon, St. Catherine and st. Elizabeth. We have also allocated some $5 million to refurbish some of the trucks. This would give us some 25 trucks in total,” he said.

As it relates to fire, the State Minister is asking home owners to desist from burning garbage, and that farmers should stop the slash and burn practice of clearing land.

“We know you (farmers) are getting ready for the rainy season but there ought to be a different way. Agriculture is important, your residence is important and if there’s a fire, we’ll be left with millions of dollars in damage, so we’re appealing to you to limit the use of fire,” Mr. Hayles implored.