NWC Tackling a Number of Projects this Year


The National Water Commission (NWC), is to advance work on a number of capital projects at varying stages of completion, during the current fiscal year,Water and Housing Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, has said.
Speaking in the 2009/10 Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Wednesday (July 1), Dr. Chang said they include the Port Antonio water, sewerage, and drainage project in Portland, on which the NWC expects to spend about $1.2 billion this year.
Another is the Kingston Water and Sanitation Project, for which work amounting to over $400 million is expected to be done.
He also advised that some $660 million has already been spent on the installation of a new Customer Information System (CIS), to enhance the NWC’s billing system.
“As of next month, the character of your bill will change. You will see something quite different to tell you what is happening, so (that) you can monitor your utilisation,” Dr. Chang said.
With Phase One of the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) Water Supply project completed and commissioned into service last September, he noted that the second phase is currently under construction, and is being executed by Hazamah Corporation. The third phase is slated to begin very soon.
Dr. Chang told the House that funds generated from the tariff increase granted by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), will be used to finance specific capital programmes.
“These projects will be aimed at increasing the operational efficiency of the Commission, by reducing the level of non-revenue water, rehabilitating and retiring selected wastewater treatment plants and expanding the sewer collection network in Kingston and St. Andrew where, currently, only about a third of the sewer lines are connected to the main sewer plants,” he said.
He added that 22 water projects will be done under the programme, at an estimated cost of some $1.7 billion.
He also announced that the Rural Water Supply Limited will undertake development of 19 projects to supply water to rural areas this year, at a cost of $412 million.
The company has, since September 2007, completed 18 projects at a cost of approximately $2.2 billion, which are benefitting some 123,000 rural area residents.
“These (new) projects will be completed within this financial year, and will provide potable water to an additional 440,000 persons,” Dr. Chang said.
He said with the completion of these projects, access to potable water in rural Jamaica will increase to some 51 per cent, , and that added to what the NWC is doing, potable water supply in Jamaica will move from under 50 per cent to close to 65 per cent.

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