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Approximately 400 households in 11 communities across St. Elizabeth will receive piped water for the first time, following the completion of the $130-million New Building Water Supply System in the parish.

The facility was officially commissioned into service by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, on Thursday (November 3).

The system, which forms part of the Essex Valley Water Supply Scheme spearheaded by the National Water Commission (NWC), aims to improve the quality and consistency of the precious commodity’s supply in the various beneficiary communities.

Additionally, the project will increase revenue by expanding the customer base through the extension of service, thereby eliminating the need for regular trucking of water.

The areas to be served include New Building, Nain, Myersville, Junction, Exton, Bull Savannah, Thatch Walk, Gazeland, Alls-valley, Cheapside, and Nembhard Town.

A total of 12 households have already been connected, while the process is underway for an additional 100.

Mr. Samuda, in his address, indicated that the commissioning signals the Government’s commitment to upgrade and deliver quality service to rural communities.

“We are ensuring that Jamaicans who live in rural Jamaica are benefiting from the investment of the National Water Commission and, for that, I am a proud participant,” he said.

Minister Samuda noted that while approximately 78 per cent of Jamaica’s citizens benefit from potable water provided by the NWC, more needs to be done to improve coverage, citing stakeholder partnerships as imperative in this regard.

For his part, NWC’s Receivables Manager for St. Elizabeth and Manchester, Raymond Nesbeth, encouraged the residents to protect the investment by, among other things, paying their bills.

“To our new customers, enjoy the service. It is for you. However, it is also important to enjoy this commodity in a very responsible way. It is also your obligation to honour your bills to pay [them] in full and on time. This is important, so [that] we can keep the water flowing,” he said.

The Essex Valley Water Supply Project in Junction, St. Elizabeth, is a $630-million scheme to reduce water-related challenges in the parish.

More than 20,000 residents in 3,300 households are poised to benefit under the project, being implemented by the NWC.

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