JIS News

The Crystal Spring Sanitation project in St. Thomas has been given a financial boost with the contribution of $7.6 million by the National Housing Trust (NHT).
NHT’s contribution brings to $21.4 million, the amount available for the project, with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) recently signing a $13.3 million financing agreement with the Prospect Benevolent Society in St. Thomas to undertake the works.
The project, which will involve the construction of a communal sanitary facility with 21 flush toilets and showers, linked to a septic tank and an absorption pit, will benefit some 225 residents from the eastern St. Thomas community. Work is expected to be completed in three months.
Social Development Manager at the NHT, Wendy-Jo Williams, explained that coming out of discussion with the parish’s public health officials, it was recognised that the residents faced particular challenges that needed to be addressed.
“We decided that we would work with JSIF because no matter what type of social development we did there – job generation, literacy improvement – every time we met and sat down to talk job generation or literacy and numeracy, you’d get a whiff of the human unhealthy practices and so we intervened from a social development perspective,” she stated.
Miss Williams pointed out that on completion of the project, the NHT in partnership with JSIF will be carrying out sanitation training with the residents.
The Trust will also continue its programme of institutional strengthening in the community, she said, to better enable the residents to find employment.
In the meantime, as a requirement for the financial assistance from JSIF, the residents will contribute 11 per cent of the project cost by volunteering their labour and skills.
Manager of Finance at JSIF, Shirley McLean-Brown, explained that any project of this nature undertaken by JSIF had a mandatory 11 and 25 per cent community contribution component. “In the case of Crystal City, the community contribution is 11 per cent totalling over $1.1 million and will take the form of discounted labour, site clearance, provision of security and storage of materials,” she told JIS News.
Chairman of the St. Thomas Parish Development Committee, Franklyn Holness, urged the community to take care of the facility, when it is completed.

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