JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says a Special Inter-Ministerial Task Force has been established to address water and sanitation as the country combats the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz; and Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, will lead the Task Force’s efforts to develop, implement and monitor a programme for the trucking of water to communities islandwide.
  • The Prime Minister, who was making his contribution to the 2020/21 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Thursday (March 19), said the Task Force will spearhead the transfer of the remaining $50 million in the Trucking of Water Programme, administered by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, to the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says a Special Inter-Ministerial Task Force has been established to address water and sanitation as the country combats the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz; and Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, will lead the Task Force’s efforts to develop, implement and monitor a programme for the trucking of water to communities islandwide.

The Prime Minister, who was making his contribution to the 2020/21 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Thursday (March 19), said the Task Force will spearhead the transfer of the remaining $50 million in the Trucking of Water Programme, administered by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, to the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.

“The Ministry of Local Government will make the funds available immediately to the municipal corporations, while the full costing for a three-month period for the trucking of water will be finalised by the ministries and agencies and submitted for Cabinet’s approval,” he informed.

Additionally, Mr. Holness said each of the 63 Members of Parliament will be allocated an initial $1 million for regular water trucking and provision of the commodity to communities in response to COVID-19.

“This allocation should go through their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to be implemented through the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development/municipal corporations,” he noted.

The municipal corporations and National Water Commission (NWC) will also be tasked to prepare a schedule and associated budget for delivering water to underserved areas for a three-month period.

In addition, the NWC will be required to prepare costing and a schedule to truck water to critical institutions, including hospitals and health centres, over the next three months.

The trucking schedule will be shared by the Local Government Ministry and NWC to prevent service delivery overlaps.

Meanwhile, Mr. Holness advised that water trucks are to be procured by the NWC and municipal corporations under “emergency circumstances”.

“This will include trucks currently in the island as well as those in transit to the country. The costing for the procurement of trucks will be included in a Cabinet submission for the allocation of funds,” he informed.

He said that the Local Government Ministry will increase the distribution of tanks under its 450-gallon Tank Programme.

In addition, the Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL) will work with the Ministry and municipal corporations to identify strategic locations and prepare a budget to place wayside tanks (2,000-gallon black tanks and bases), which will be filled by water trucks.

Mr. Holness told the House that RWSL will also look into placing loading bays at strategic locations in an effort to reduce the distance travelled by trucks to collect water for distribution.

He said that an advertisement is to be placed in the newspaper inviting private contractors to truck water.

“A Technical Working Group will be established, which will include representatives from the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, NWC and RWSL, to assist in monitoring and coordination of service,” he added.

Mr. Holness advised that the NWC has established an email contact – covid-19@nwc.com.jm, “specifically to deal with COVID-19-related requests for water”.

The Prime Minister’s budget presentation was themed ‘Towards a Decade of Growth to Anchor Our Peace, Prosperity and Resilience’.

Skip to content