JIS News

A number of communities in rural Jamaica are slated to benefit from improved water supplies through a consignment of water pipes and fixtures from China.
A delegation from the China National Corporation for Economic Cooperation (CCOEC), led by President, Ma Zhiwu, yesterday (June 5) officially handed over the equipment to Minister of Housing, Transport, Water and Works, Robert Pickersgill, at the National Water Commission’s (NWC) Mona Reservoir complex in Kingston.
The supplies, which includes wastewater pipes, is the third of four shipments valued at US$12 million, which were purchased using concessionary credit loans provided by the China Import and Export Bank for the reconstruction and expansion of Jamaica’s water supply system, under a formal agreement with CCOEC.
Since 1997, the Export Import Bank of China has provided concessionary funding for the purchase of over US$23 million worth of water pipes and allied materials.
In his remarks, Mr. Pickersgill noted that the latest shipment will complement other previous shipments and will be used in a number of expansion and improvement projects, which the NWC will be undertaking.
“What this will mean is that access to piped water supply for Jamaicans will continue to be significantly increased from its 74 per cent currently, signaling our efforts to achieving the objectives of the government of Jamaica by 2010 and the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals of Universal Access by 2015,” he noted.
Mr. Pickersgill said he was pleased to receive the shipment of pipes “not only because it represents the fruition of a positive and growing relationship between the governments and peoples of Jamaica and China, but even moreso, because of the contribution that the continued improvement in domestic water supply will have on nation building.”
During a site inspection, Mr. Pickersgill told reporters that since the shipment arrived in November 2006, “much of the pipes are at work” while some are stored at the NWC Marescaux Road facility. He said that the final shipment, which contains a number of galvanized pipes, is at sea en route to Jamaica.
Minister of Development, Donald Buchanan, while noting that most urban centres are well served with good water supply, said that “unfortunately, for many rural communities, the situation is not as good.”
He pointed out that the NWC “has already earmarked and designed a number of projects, many of them in rural Jamaica that will benefit from these pipes and fittings. In fact, some small projects have begun.”
In his reply, Mr. Zhiwu, said he was looking forward to future cooperation with the Jamaican government in other areas such as low income housing, and development of the airports and the railway.
Noting that China and Jamaica have enjoyed a decade-long relationship, Mr. Ma Zhiwu said, “these 10 years is only a starting point.”

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