Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on February 17, broke ground for the $131.9 million (US$1.03 million) Bay Farm Villa Sewerage Project in West Central St. Andrew.
The five-month development is being spearheaded by the National Water Commission (NWC) under the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) financed Caribbean Region Fund for Wastewater Management (CReW) Project.
The new system will replace the 40 year-old wastewater treatment plant which serves residents in the communities of Bay Farm Villa, Olympic Court, Compound, Lime Tree Lane, Andrews Mews, Simmonds Park and their environs.
To be executed by Surrey Paving and Aggregate Company Limited, the project will also entail the laying of sewer pipelines to channel sewage from the communities to the Nanse Pen sub-station in St. Andrew and on to the Soapberry wastewater treatment plant in St. Catherine.
The Bay Farm Villa wastewater treatment facility is one of six across the Corporate Area earmarked for upgrading under the $1.53 billion (US$12 million) CReW project. The others include facilities at Hughenden, Acadia and Elletson Flats.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, the Prime Minister said the Bay Farm Villa development is a “major project” that would improve the residents’ quality of life by rectifying challenges associated with an old malfunctioning treatment plant that often resulted in sewage overflows, which posed a health hazard for the residents.
Mr. Holness, who is Member of Parliament for the area, noted that while the old system has been rehabilitated over time, the growth in the communities’ population has placed significant pressure on it, resulting in it becoming inefficient.
He emphasized the need for the project to be properly managed to ensure its completion within the stipulated timeline, while preventing cost overruns.
For his part, Minister with Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for Water, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said the project formed part of the Government’s overall focus on improving facilities for the proper treatment and disposal of wastewater in the Corporate Area and, by extension, the entire country.
He said major improvements to the collection system in Kingston have been prioritized, noting that major work has already been done at the Darling Street relief station and the Nanse Pen facility. “Those will be in a position to take the sewage collected out to the appropriate place (at Soapberry),” he added.
For his part, the NWC’s Deputy Chairman, Baron Stewart, said wastewater treatment remains one of the entity’s “most important imperatives.”
“At present, the National Water Commission operates 68 wastewater treatment plants in 12 of the 14 parishes, treating approximately 113,000 m3 of sewage each day to protect the health, environment and economy of Jamaica,” he noted.
Managing Director of Surrey Paving Limited, Leslie Chang, said the company welcomes the opportunity to be a partner in the Bay Farm Villa project.
He said its completion will positively impact the environment, thereby “creating a healthier community and enriching community life.”