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Water and Housing Minister, Donald Buchanan has disclosed that the National Water Commission (NWC) will spend approximately $3.16 billion on 44 water supply projects during the 2005/06 financial year, while a further $222.8 million is expected to be spent on 28 wastewater projects, with a view to safeguarding public health and protecting the environment.
Minister Buchanan’s disclosure came during his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 15.
Outlining the slate of projects that the Ministry will be undertaking for the present fiscal year, Mr. Buchanan said work has already commenced and will continue on the Martha Brae to Harmony Hall water supply project in Trelawny, to serve residents in east Falmouth through to Harmony Hall.
Work is also expected to conclude on the Cotterwood water project in St. Elizabeth and construction should begin on the White Horses/Botany Bay/ Pamphret supply in St. Thomas, as well as on the Gravel Hill water system in Clarendon.
Additionally, under the Inter American Development Bank (IDB)-funded Food Damage Assistance Programme, some $54 million is to be spent on the rehabilitation of canals and pipelines in the parishes of St. Catherine and St. Thomas.
Other projects to be undertaken this financial year, include the implementation of the second phase of the National Irrigation Development Programme (NIDP). Some 1,300 farmers in Yallahs, St. Thomas, Colbeck and St. Dorothy in St. Catherine, New Forest and Duff House in Manchester, and Essex Valley in St. Elizabeth, stand to benefit from the NIDP.
Meanwhile, Minister Buchanan informed that amendments to the Water Resources Act and the Floodwater Control Act would be pursued this fiscal year, and the Ministry would be seeking to complete the National Water Resources Master Plan.
Turning to the Ministry’s housing-related projections for the fiscal year, Mr. Buchanan said some $150 million was to be expended on the second phase of the Social Housing Programme, to benefit some 12,000 families across the island.
“We will commence two joint venture projects comprising some 1,365 solutions and commence three private sector facilitation projects comprising 1,491 solutions,” he noted, adding that the Ministry “will, together with our agencies, complete 7,229 housing solutions.”
He told the House that to date, the Ministry had obtained some 10, 834 splinter titles and an additional 3,500 titles will be delivered this year under Operation PRIDE.