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JIS News

Shouts of joy and delight greeted the commissioning of a piped water system for Coco Walk, Williamsfield, St.Catherine on Thursday( May 14), after years of waiting.
The commissioning resulted from a collaboration to rehabilitate the abandoned water system, between the Social Development Commission (SDC), the Williamsfield Citizens Association, the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) and Member of Parliament for North East St. Catherine Gregory Mair, through his Constituency Development Fund.
Over 6,5000 feet of two-inch galvanized piping was laid, the Williamsfield water pumping station rehabilitated, a new motor installed, a new steel tank installed and over $1.5 million spent to get the water system functional to deliver potable water to residents in and around Williamsfield.
Regional Director of the SDC (St. Catherine), Edith Morrison, stated that the decision to take part in the partnership was easy as, after an analysis was done, the need was clear and the unfinished system made it easier.
“We work with everyone in the process of community development and community building, to make the community a better place. The joy of the community to finally have water running through pipes, words cannot speak of that and, as a Regional Director of the SDC, which is a community building organisation, I am extremely proud to be here today,” she told JIS news.
Project Manager at the EFJ Derrick Gayle, pointed out that some $4.3 million was put into the project by the Foundation, and encouraged residents to use the system wisely and to plan ahead for its maintenance.
“Don’t let it go into disrepair. If something is happening, do something to fix the problem before it gets too big. Put something aside that you can repair the pump, or if you need a new pump down the road. Those are things you’ll need to do, because it’s a very big investment,” he told the residents.
He added that the project speaks to issues of sanitation, child survival and sustainable livelihoods. The EFJ currently has some 200 projects on the ground, and is currently experiencing a 90 percent success rate.
Mr. Mair congratulated the residents for their involvement in the project and its success. He warned them, however, to be wary of persons abusing the facility.
“It’s potable water yuh nuh, water for household and domestic use, not for irrigation. So don’t start using it to irrigate your fields, or your crops. You are going to start policing each other, hold each other accountable, to ensure that all of us can have water for a long time,” he urged the residents.
Mr. Mair warned that if the system is abused, it will break down.
“Be responsible, as an individual and as a community. If the system works more than it is designed for it will break down,” he admonished.
He later told JIS News that funds have been collected from registered residents and, within two months, the St. Catherine Parish Council, will start to administrate the system to ensure viability and accountability.