More than 20,000 residents of communities in South West St. Catherine now have reliable and consistent supply of potable water, with the commissioning into service of the Red Ground/Barton’s Water Supply Scheme on Wednesday (February 16).
The $40 million project, undertaken by the Rural Water Supply Company, involved the laying of transmission pipelines; extending existing distribution lines; construction of a booster station; and installation of pumps at the Red Ground treatment plant. Storage tanks were also built and installed, and a re-lift station constructed.
The scheme will serve Red Ground, Barton’s, Cocoa Ridge, Bois Content, Blue Hole, Belfield, Marlie Hill, Brown’s Hall, among other areas.
Water and Housing Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, in his remarks at the commissioning ceremony held at the Red Ground treatment plant, said that the Government is committed to improving water supply to rural communities, as part of the master plan to provide Jamaicans with universal access to potable water by 2015.
He informed that the Rural Water Supply Company, initiated about 22 projects over the last three years, and “there are plans for others that would move rural water supply from below 47 per cent to near 65 per cent”.
He said that some of the projects to be undertaken are “fairly large and (Rural Water Supply Company) will not necessary be the implementing agency for all of them."
According to Dr. Chang, “water supply expansion to rural communities can only bring significant benefits for our country’s economic and social development”.
Among the benefits to be derived, he said, are the attraction of new businesses and the expansion of existing ones, which will result in increased employment, and reduce the rural to urban drift.
State Minister for Water and Housing and Member of Parliament for the area, Everald Warmington, stated that the project will help to bring development to the area, and provide a better standard of life for residents.
“I am urging everyone to play their part by conserving our precious resource to ensure that Jamaica will continue to live up to its reputation as the land of wood and water for generations to come,” he said.
CONTACT: GARFIELD L. ANGUS
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE