Ridge to Reef Improves Water Supply Systems in Portland


The communities of Comfort Castle and Cornwall Barracks in the Rio Grande Valley area of Portland are currently experiencing significant improvement in their water supply systems as a result of the work of the Ridge to Reef Watershed Project.
A total of $900,000 was spent by that organization in 2004 to implement water supply improvement projects in both communities, which had been plagued by the problem of inadequate water supply as a result of having outgrown their existing supply services.
The Ridge to Reef Watershed project is a five year US$6 million initiative of the Government of Jamaica and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which addresses the degradation of watersheds in Jamaica by improving and sustaining the management of natural resources in targeted watershed areas in ways that are both environmentally and economically significant.
Both water supply projects were made possible through USAID funding to the Ridge to Reef Watershed Project after both communities made requests for improvement in their water services to the Project.
The Comfort Castle project involved the increasing of the entombment, the improvement of the filtration system and the installation of new pipelines, while the Cornwall Barracks project involved the sourcing of water from higher ground and the construction of a new entombment.
The projects were officially handed over to the Portland Parish Council and the Moore Town Maroon Council during an official handing over function held at the Comfort Castle Police Station on Thursday, February 24.
The Portland Parish Council will have responsibility for managing the Comfort Castle system, while the Moore Town Maroon Council will manage the Cornwwall Barracks system.
Speaking at the function, Chief of Party for the Ridge to Reef Watershed Project, Mark Nolan said his organization was pleased to be associated with the venture and commended the residents of the communities for the cooperation they had displayed in making the projects a reality.
Declaring that the projects were in conformity with the aims and objectives of Ridge to Reef, he encouraged the residents to make a special effort to protect the supply systems. Also speaking at the function Karen McDonald of the USAID, also exhorted the community to give the best care to the facilities and expressed her organization’s pleasure at being able to partner with both communities and the Ridge to Reef project to construct the facility.
Responding on behalf of the communities, Head of the Moore Town Maroon Council Colonel, Wallace Sterling thanked both the Ridge to Reef Project and USAID for the assistance and leadership they had provided in the effort, and gave the assurance that the systems would be utilized in the most carefully and productively.

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