JIS News

Story Highlights

  • More than 700 residents in Giblatore and other areas in St. Catherine are benefitting from a rain water harvesting system, developed at a cost of $27 million.
  • It was funded by the IDB, with inputs from the St. Catherine Development Agency, and the Giblatore Combined Benevolent Society.
  • Minister Pickersgill said to pipe water to communities in hilly terrains cost more than what can be retrieved from persons paying their water bills.

More than 700 residents in Giblatore and other areas in St. Catherine are benefitting from a rain water harvesting system, developed at a cost of $27 million.

It was funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), with inputs from the St. Catherine Development Agency, and the Giblatore Combined Benevolent Society.

Speaking at the official commissioning of the system, on June 13, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, lauded the work of the two groups for their role in getting water for the residents.

He told the residents attending the ceremony, held at the Giblatore Primary School, that to pipe water to communities in hilly terrains cost more than what can be retrieved from persons paying their water bills, and it is more cost effective and reliable to take water from non-traditional sources.

“In areas where water is scarce and drinking water has to be brought from great distances, the cost of pumping water to the communities is extremely high, especially with the escalating cost of fuel,” the Minister said, while pointing to increased economic activities in the areas with improved water supplies.

“I am confident that this project will add to the productivity of your communities, as you will now be able to grow cash crops more efficiently, and engage in other wealth creating enterprises, such as chicken rearing and egg production,” he added.

Mr. Pickersgill   said the residents have been provided with a source of potable water for domestic, agricultural and commercial activities.

“As such, I am appealing to you for cooperation in conserving the commodity, particularly in light of the potential effects of climate change on our water resources, including intense and extreme weather conditions, such as drought, flooding and hurricanes,” the Minister said.

For his part, Member of Parliament for West Central St. Catherine, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, said excellent leadership came from the community.

He thanked the funding agency and the Government, and urged the residents to make the system last, so that funding agencies can extend support to other communities.

The project comprised the installation of rainwater catchment systems and 650-gallon plastic water tanks.  Communities served by the system are: Content, Springvale, Bulock Mountain, Lime Walk, Bower’s Wood, Trafalgar and Giblatore.