JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Cabinet has approved the tabling in Parliament of the revised National Water Policy and Implementation Plan.
  • This was disclosed by Director, Water Policy and Monitoring Branch in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Talia Gibson.
  • “The aim of this policy is to provide universal access to potable water. We are expecting that the policy will be tabled by early next financial year,” Mrs. Gibson told JIS News.

Cabinet has approved the tabling in Parliament of the revised National Water Policy and Implementation Plan.

This was disclosed by Director, Water Policy and Monitoring Branch in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Talia Gibson.

“The aim of this policy is to provide universal access to potable water. We are expecting that the policy will be tabled by early next financial year,” Mrs. Gibson told JIS News.

She pointed out that the policy is a revision of the 2004 plan and divides the country into utility service areas and non-utility service areas.

“Utility service areas are the areas where piped water is the best method of providing water and we have non-utility service areas where piped water is not necessarily the most economical way to provide water. That’s where we come in with other modalities like rainwater harvesting and catchment tanks,” Mrs. Gibson explained.

She noted that the sustainable management of the country’s water resources, is critical to Jamaica’s development.

“We want persons to think about the impact lack of water has and the importance of water sustainability. We are a country of land, wood and water, but it is important that we sustain our water resources and supply so that we can have it for the future generation,” Mrs. Gibson stated.

She also informed that the policy will focus on wastewater management.

“For the utility service areas, we are trying to implement better sewage systems and for the non-utility service areas we looking at creating onsite sanitation facilities,” Mrs. Gibson noted.

Meanwhile, a public education campaign is to be launched shortly to sensitise persons about the Policy.

“We are going to launch a public education campaign to look at the whole aspect of drought management, conservation, among other issues. We are also looking at soliciting the participation of the private sector in the whole aspect of water management. Once the policy is approved by Parliament, we will be going out into communities to spread our messages,” Mrs. Gibson said.