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Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, says the National Water Commission (NWC) remains fully committed to the timely implementation of all its projects, in keeping with local and international procurement processes, so that it can improve the delivery of potable water and wastewater services island-wide.

He was addressing the official commissioning ceremony for the rehabilitated Mona and Hope Treatment plants under the Kingston Water and Sanitation Project, held recently at the Mona Reservoir Complex, St. Andrew.

“As Minister of Water it is my desire to see the speedy implementation of all our well-needed water projects,” Mr. Pickersgill stated.

He informed that the board and management of the NWC, has been charged to move speedily to address all identified weaknesses in the organisation that may cause projects to take longer than necessary.

Minister Pickersgill acknowledged however, that water projects do not happen overnight, noting that large infrastructure development works take time to conceptualise and research.

“Financing has to be sourced, designs approved and Environmental Impact Assessments and other studies conducted. The many regulators and stakeholders have to agree to all the components of the project before the time-consuming and difficult procurement and contracting process can be navigated,” he pointed out.

He noted also that several of the NWC projects have been funded through international agencies such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and are subject to specific procurement and contracting processes.

“The Government of Jamaica and the National Water Commission treasure the financial support provided by international agencies and other entities. So again, as much as we would like to implement these much needed projects instantaneously, we cannot implement projects ahead of, or in violation of the rules governing such processes,” he said.

The rehabilitation of the Mona and Hope Water Treatment Plants was completed at a cost of $1.6 billion through funding from the IDB.

The two facilities have a combined output of more than 40 per cent of the NWC’s water production capacity in Kingston and St. Andrew.

Contact: Andrea Braham