PM leads tour of water projects in St. Catherine


Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, on (Oct. 29) led a team of ministers and government officials on a tour of water projects being undertaken in St. Catherine, as part of a major improvement programme, which will benefit residents in the parish and Kingston and St. Andrew.

Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, is being assisted by workman, Jermaine Robinson to operate a backhoe, during the ground breaking for the Kitson Town water supply project in St. Catherine on Friday, October 29. The project falls under the Jamaica Water Supply Improvement Project.

The touring party, which included Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh; Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange; and Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, saw firsthand, the works being undertaken under the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) Water Supply Project, and the Jamaica Water Supply Improvement Project (JWSIP).
They were also updated on the progress of works under the multi-billion dollar projects, as the Government moves to increase access to potable water.
Some of the locations visited were the newly erected reservoir for the Spanish Town water treatment plant and the new wells at Angel’s. The reservoir, along with the Angel’s No. 2, Chung’s and Ariguanabo wells, and the high and low-lift pumping stations at the Spanish Town treatment plant, are part of the second phase of the KMA project.
In addition, 22 kilometres of trunk transmission pipelines between the wells and storage reservoirs, have been put in place to assist with distribution in Greater Spanish Town.
The touring party also participated in the official ground breaking ceremony for the Kitson Town rural supply project. The works, which are already underway, are expected to last for 20 months, and are being undertaken under the JWSIP.

Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding (left) is in conversation with Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang (centre); and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange during a tour of water projects in St. Catherine on Friday, October 29.

Dr. Baugh, who is Member of Parliament for West Central St. Catherine, where Kiston Town is located, said he is pleased with the work being done to improve the access of residents to potable water. “We are going to be turning on water in Kitson Town,” he said.
Dr. Chang, in his remarks, stated that it is the intention of the Government to ensure that communities have reliable access to clean, safe water as part of the development process.
“Water in a community that has never had potable water is like a new day and a new life for everybody. You find that the response is phenomenal .more and more people are willing to build their homes, which brings jobs as well as additional housing, which will improve the quality of life,” he stated.
The Water Minister informed that some $40 billion has been committed to the development of the water sector in the island over the next five years. “We already have spent a significant amount in the Spanish Town region. What is known as the Kingston Metropolitan programme, we have spent some $76 million improving treatment, supply and distribution,” he informed.
The $7.6 billion (US$90 million) KMA Water Supply Project aims to improve the water supply system in the KMA, including Southeast St. Catherine, Kingston and St. Andrew.
It entails the cleaning, resuscitation and/or re-drilling of 19 groundwater wells; upgrading of the Spanish Town water treatment plant; refurbishing of 11 storage tanks; and replacement of 19 kilometres of leaking and encrusted distribution pipes.
An estimated $1.5 billion will be spent on this project during the 2010/2011 financial year.
The JWSIP is budgeted to cost $17 billion (US$211 million), and is designed to address the immediate shortfall in water supply in the KMA as well as to improve water supplies in selected rural areas.
The project, on its scheduled completion in 2012, is expected to provide an additional 20 million gallons of potable water to the KMA from a combination of new supply development and loss reduction. It includes the replacement of the old asbestos/cement Rio Cobre pipeline, which brings water from Bog Walk along the Gorge to the KMA, in order to reduce leaks and improve supply reliability to the KMA.
Also included is the rehabilitation of the Constant Spring water treatment plant and the intakes; upgrading of the Seaview treatment plant and the Stony Hill supply network; and installation of approximately 70,000 customer meters in Ocho Rios.

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