An additional $19.5 million has been earmarked in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives, to fund the Rural Water Supply Project in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change.
The project, being implemented by the National Water Commission (NWC), and which has been ongoing since April 2002, aims to increase potable water and sanitation provisions to some 25,000 residents in rural communities without access to these amenities, upon completion.
The undertaking, timeframe for which has been further extended to March 2013, is envisaged to entail: design, construction, installation and supervision of water systems and individual sanitation schemes for communities; and provide domestic connections and individual solutions for the disposal of wastewater to communities averaging approximately 4,000 inhabitants each.
The money will also be used to form community water organisations (CWO) to develop and implement the project, and provide technical training for stakeholders comprising these entities in the operation and maintenance of the systems; and design a monitoring system for CWOs and their operations.
Activities already undertaken, up to March 2012, include: completion of the Cotterwood, Pamphret/Botany Bay, White Horses, Gravel Hill, and Mile Gully/Warwick Castle water supply systems; and construction of a tank base and installation of storage tanks for the Giblatore water supply scheme.
The development, which has been jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is expected to see completion of works as well as project audit, among other activities, by the end of the current fiscal year.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter