JIS News

Two new water and sanitation projects, which will serve residents of Pisgah and Retrieve in North West St. Elizabeth, were commissioned into service last week by Minister of Water and Housing, Donald Buchanan.
Delivering the keynote address at the special ceremony, Minister Buchanan had high praise for the Ridge to Reef Watershed group, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, which acted as the main facilitators of the projects.
“I am proud of the work that has been done to bring potable water and sanitation to these communities, as the policy of the government is to provide access to water for every Jamaican by the year 2010. The provision of potable water does not mean that every household will have piped water; what it means is that every member of a community will have access to clean, safe drinking water,” he said.
Mr. Buchanan cited recent statistics from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), which indicated that currently, 71 per cent of the people had access to piped water. “It means that there are some 29 per cent still to receive this service,” he added.
The Minister said he has spent time with various agencies of government that deal with water, such as the National Water Commission, the Water Resources Authority as well as Carib Engineering to look at a presentation “which we will be making in regard to the future development of this sector”.
“This plan, once implemented, should see us being able to provide approximately 85 per cent of the population with this vital commodity of water,” he added.
The Minister said the challenge of bringing piped water to so many communities was enormous, but “we remain committed to our task. Where other entities are willing to partner with us, we encourage them to come forward as was the case for Pisgah and Retrieve”.
The Pisgah project involved the laying of 2 miles of pipeline with water being provided through a network of seven standpipes, all of which are linked to a 150,000-gallon tank.
In addition to serving the needs of community, some 315 students who attend the local all-age school will also benefit from the service.

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