JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The refurbished Portsea Catchment Tank located in South St. Elizabeth, was on Thursday (Nov. 13) commissioned into service by Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, at an official ceremony.
  • The 270,000 gallon capacity catchment tank, repaired at a cost of $5.3 million by the Rural Water Supply Limited, will serve some 1,500 resident of Portsea and surrounding communities.
  • The upgrading of this rainwater harvesting tank means that we are easing the pressure on the St. Elizabeth Parish Council to truck water to the areas affected by the drought

The refurbished Portsea Catchment Tank located in South St. Elizabeth, was on Thursday (Nov. 13) commissioned into service by Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, at an official ceremony.
The 270,000 gallon capacity catchment tank, repaired at a cost of $5.3 million by the Rural Water Supply Limited, will serve some 1,500 resident of Portsea and surrounding communities.
Rehabilitation works on the tank, which was built in the 1940’s by the then English government, involved extensive repairs to the concrete catchment area; replacement of the catchment fencing and wall footing; waterproofing of sections of the tank wall; laying of 800 meters of pipeline; and concrete covering of the tank.
Addressing residents, Minister Pickersgill reiterated that all citizens/households must return to rainwater harvesting as this is critical to ensuring the country’s water security in the face of increasing and intensifying droughts.
“I therefore welcome the rehabilitation of this rainwater harvesting tank in Portsea as an important addition to the climate change adaptation initiatives that are being pursued elsewhere in the island.  This tank in Portsea is one of 33 tanks that were being identified for rehabilitation in southern St. Elizabeth, as my Ministry moves to alleviate the water woes being experienced by the residents and farmers in this beautiful parish”, the Minister stated.
Observing that droughts were constituted as one of the impacts of climate change, he informed that the Rainwater Harvesting Policy within the national building code, is now with the Ministry’s Legislation Committee. “Soon installing rainwater harvesting infrastructure will be a requirement for developers,” he remarked.

“So far, we have rehabilitated 16 tanks, including the Portsea Catchment Tank at a cost of $20.7million and we are currently working on two others in the communities of Genus and Melsham,” he told the audience.
When completed, the tank at Genus will serve some 4,000 persons in the districts of Carsline and Doncaster, while the Melsham tank will serve 2,000 in Brown’s Hill, and Red Bank.
“The upgrading of this rainwater harvesting tank means that we are easing the pressure on the St. Elizabeth Parish Council to truck water to the areas affected by the drought, but more that, we are also easing the pressure on your pockets to purchase water from private suppliers,” Mr. Pickersgill said.
Her further urged citizens to help to protect the catchment tank and to be responsible in their consumption.

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