Multi-million Dollar Water Supply Projects for Rural Jamaica


Minister of State in the Ministry of Water and Housing, Everald Warmington has disclosed that a number of water supply projects will be undertaken in the parish of St. Catherine in an effort to move universal access to water in rural Jamaica.
“St. Catherine is one of the areas of rapid and intense residential and commercial growth. We therefore have to ensure that the provision of infrastructure, including water and sewerage is in step with this increase in population,” Mr. Warmington said during his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 8.
The projects include: Kitson Town/Point Hill Water Supply, Colbeck/Planters/Bois Content Water Supply, Buxton Town Water Supply, Goldmine/Cocoa Ridge/Belfield/Marlie Hill Water Supply, and Colbeck Heights/Red Ground/Barons Water Supply.
The State Minister pointed out that the Kitson Town/Point Hill Water Supply in West Central St. Catherine is a mammoth project and is estimated to cost $700 million.
He noted that the project would involve the construction of a control building and storage tank; equipping of wells with pump-motor sets and electrical motor controls; installation of high lift pumping equipment adjacent to the storage tank; installation of transmission and distribution pipelines, pipeline appurtenances and service connections; construction of new distribution reservoirs and the repair of existing water tanks; and construction and equipping of relift stations.
“Some amount of work is being undertaken to refurbish the Duxes/Point Hill Water Supply System on a Force Account Basis. Minor remedial work have been carried out on the Parish Council’s Watermount system to provide water to Kitson Town and its environs as an interim solution,” he said.
He said funding is being sought for the Kitson Town/Point Hill systems utilizing the Wakefield Well sources and that it is anticipated that detailed designs and implementation will commence in the latter part of this financial year.
The State Minister pointed out that the system when completed will provide an adequate and reliable water supply to approximately 25,000 persons in the communities of Wakefield, Spring Vale, Mendez Hill, Point Hill, Duxes, Guanaboa Vale, and Kitson Town.
“It is anticipated that there will also be increased levels of economic activity as a result of the improvement in the water supply to these areas,” he said.
Additionally, he noted that the Colbeck/Planters/Bois Content Water Supply also in West Central St. Catherine is slated to get underway in August of this year.
“This project is badly needed as the areas of north of Old Harbour is suffering from a chronic water problem due to the intermittent operations of the main supply,” he said, noting that the project will utilize the existing wells at Colbeck in order to stabilize the water supply for the area. He also noted that the project would see the construction of a relift station at Planters Hall, and the refurbishing of a high lift station at Colbeck, which is estimated at J$28 million.
He also pointed out that storage tanks at Planters Hall would also be constructed while the bridge crossings, pipe works and the interconnection pipelines will be completed.
“We will begin as early as August to install the pumps procured from India, with the additional works on pipelines and a storage tank also slated to commence next month. It is anticipated that the project will be completed in December this year with the nearly eight thousand of residents of Colbeck, Planters Hall and Bois Content benefiting shortly thereafter,” he said.
Mr. Warmington noted that the Buxton Town Water Supply, which will cost $15 million will serve West Central and North West Catherine. “So far, pumping plant equipment has been installed in the Wakefield Well number one, and commissioning is scheduled for the end of July,” he said.
Furthermore, the Goldmine/Cocoa Ridge/Belfield/Marlie Hill Water Supply will serve these West Central St. Catherine communities.
Mr. Warmington noted that the project, which is being developed at a cost of $9.5 million involves pipe laying works and refurbishing of the reservoir at Marlie Hill. Work on the project is also expected to be completed in July.
“We are awaiting approval from the National Contracts Commission then Cabinet’s approval to award a contract for the extension of the pipe laying works at Marlie Hill/Browns’ Hall/Macca Tree. It is expected that work on this project will commence in August,” he informed.
The State Minister noted that work on the Colbeck Heights/Red Ground/Barton Water Supply in the South West St. Catherine is on-going and that completion and commissioning of this $35 million system is scheduled for the end of this year.
Meanwhile, he said that the projects being undertaken by Rural Water Supply Limited between 2007 and 2009 are expected to impact 76,559 or six per cent of this rural component.
“Our aim is to move universal access to water in rural Jamaica from the current level of 46 per cent to 75 per cent. To do so, it is estimated that a total of 373,348 additional persons will have to receive water. Projections show that our current projects will effectively move universal access to water for rural Jamaicans from 46 per cent to 52 per cent,” he told the House.

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