Ground was broken on Friday January 21 for rehabilitation and improvement works on the Negril Waste Water Treatment Plant in Westmoreland.
The project is being undertaken at a cost of some $278 million through funding from the Government of Jamaica and the European Union (EU). The scope of work involves raising and connecting the embankments of the stabilisation ponds; installing flow control devices; improving the outlet structure; and procurement of a jet evacuator truck. The work will start immediately and should be completed in one year.
Chairman of the National Water Commission (NWC), David Chung, in his address at the ground breaking ceremony, said that the project will preserve the natural environment and aquatic biodiversity of the greater Negril area.
He said that the expected results are: enhanced quality of the sea water and beaches, growth in aquatic biodiversity, and improved sanitary condition in the local communities.
Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, was very upbeat about the work to be done and lauded the EU for collaborating with the Government on the project and many others across the island.
He underscored the importance of water and waste water management for the sustainable development of the island, noting that Government was committed to investing in the water sector.
“We are beginning to move forward in a positive way, and that includes not only finding the capital but also addressing the quality of the work in terms of the efficiency levels, which will, in turn, include the efficiency of the (National) Water Commission”, he stated.
Head of Delegation, EU, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi-Alemani, in the meantime, pointed to the urgent need for the rehabilitation of the 10-year old waste water treatment plant to protect the natural environment and ensure the sustainability of tourism in the area.
“There are risks my friends, risks to a very critical sector and component of the Jamaican economy,” he stated
“We certainly do not want to have this wonderful jewel of Negril threatened, so this is why I am very glad…that at long last we can launch this work because at least, it is going to contribute to solving part of the problem,” he stated.
CONTACT: BRYAN MILLER
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE