JIS News

Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang has said that a programme is currently underway, which should result in “significant improvement” to a number of water supply schemes in the parish of St. Elizabeth.
Speaking recently at Alumina Partners of Jamaica (ALPART) headquarters at Nain while on a tour of the parish, Dr. Chang stressed that access to potable water was one of the fundamental rights of every Jamaican.
He pointed out that in relation to the Essex Valley water supply, which has been supported by ALPART over the years, the objective is to improve the supply and to have the National Water Commission (NWC) take over the operations .
“I have to say thanks to ALPART for the excellent work that they have done in trying to help to provide the residents and the farmers with access to water,” the Minister said.
Dr. Chang explained that the Ministry had done a comprehensive research on the problems associated with supplying the area with water.
“Once we can activate the well at Long Hill some time in the next four months, then we should be on our way as we have all the designs as well as financing in place. The improvement programme for Essex Valley will take about $217 million and it is one of seven that we are doing in St. Elizabeth to ensure that most residents of the parish have access to the commodity,” he said.
Dr. Chang pointed out that work has already started on the Santa Cruz scheme. “We want a quality system in the town and in the future we will be establishing a new programme in the Whitehall/New Market region, even as we extend the one serving Maggoty, so that communities like Coker and Carisbrook can be properly served,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that the Parottee and New Forest schemes would also be upgraded.
Dr. Chang said that the whole south western belt was up for review, as “we are examining the best way forward for areas such as Luana, which has excellent possibilities, especially as it relates to property development.”

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