JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Forecasters have predicted that western Jamaica will experience severe drought conditions.
  • State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Ian Hayles, says he will be paying personal attention to the plans for implementation in the area.
  • The new Lucea pipeline will pump an additional five million gallons of water per day being piped to Negril and its surrounding areas.

The Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change is to place special focus on western Jamaica this year, given that forecasters have predicted that the area will experience severe drought  conditions.

This will be done through the National Water Commission (NWC), with its ongoing projects and those to come on stream.

“From the standpoint of this administration, western Jamaica is our focus going forward in terms of dealing with the water problem once and for all,” State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Ian Hayles, has said.

Addressing a stakeholders meeting hosted by the NWC in Negril, on January 25, Mr. Hayles said the area plays such an important role in terms of  tourism and foreign exchange earnings, that he will be paying personal attention to the plans for implementation in the area.

The meeting was held to deal with the Lucea pipeline replacement and non-revenue water reduction project, and how it will affect Negril and surrounding areas.

Mr. Hayles pointed out that when the new Lucea pipeline is commissioned in a few months, it will mean an additional five million gallons of water per day being piped to Negril and its surrounding areas.  The actual need for the area now is three million gallons per day.

He noted that some strategies were adopted during the drought period in 2013, which worked well, and those will be activated again this year.  The State Minister said that two Rapid Response trucks will be placed in Westmoreland in another week, and loading bays put in to deal with drought problems.

He said that if the need arises, the number of trucks will be increased to cover the parishes of Westmoreland and Hanover.

Also in attendance at the meeting was Vice President, Potable Water Systems Operation and Maintenance, NWC, Mark Blair, who gave an update on the progress of the Lucea pipeline replacement project. He also answered questions posed by stakeholders.