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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • NWC customers are currently in arrears amounting to over $15 billion
  • Accumulation of outstanding payments to the NWC threaten projects
  • Construction activities occur too close to NWC systems

State Minister for Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Ian Hayles, is urging National Water Commission (NWC) customers, currently in arrears amounting to over $15 billion, to settle their accounts.

Speaking during a recent tour of water systems in sections of St. James, Mr. Hayles said, given the government’s current fiscal constraints, accumulation of outstanding payments to the NWC will pose a challenge for the entity to implement projects designed to provide consistent reliable services islandiwde.

“The planned extension and improvements to the water system in western Jamaica (for example), does not only stop in St. James; it will continue into Lucea, in Hanover to the tune of US$1.7 billion. If consumers do not pay their water bills now, then there is no way that we can extend these pipe lines,” he stated.

Mr. Hayles pointed out that the government is committed to fulfilling its responsibility of ensuring access by persons to adequate potable water, and appealed for their support of endeavour through the timely payments of their bills.

The State Minister also noted challenges related to construction activities that he contended occur too close to NWC systems. These, he pointed out, “often create health problems and, sometimes, disruptions in the supply programmes.”

“We will, therefore have to talk more to our people in an effort to educate them on these infringements,” Mr. Hayles said