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Work to restore the Yallahs pipeline is far advanced and should be completed by the end of the month, said Water and Housing Minister, Donald Buchanan.
It is costing the National Water Commission (NWC) approximately $150 million to repair the facility, which was extensively damaged during the passage of Hurricanes Dennis and Emily in July.
The Yallahs pipeline is the major source of primary water from the Yallahs River and to a lesser extent the Negro River, into the Mona reservoir in Kingston.
The 30.4 kilometre Yallahs pipeline, which supplies an estimated 85,500,000 litres of untreated water daily, varies in diameter from 80 centimetres at its intake at the Yallahs and Negro Rivers to 90-centimetre and 95-centimetre inch traversing lines in the Yallahs Valley, Cambridge Hill and Hope River Gorge area, which reduces to a 80-inch discharge at the Mona reservoir in Kingston.
Minister Buchanan, who toured the facility on Wednesday (Oct. 5) informed, that a further $100 million would be needed for preventive and defensive work including critical river training exercises.
He assured that financing of the pipeline repairs and the river training element, would come from the coffers of the NWC and would not be passed on to consumers.
The Minister noted that already, the NWC had paid out some $50 million to the project contractor, Tankweld Engineering and noted that, “were it not for the prudent manner in which the NWC has been husbanding its resources, it would not have been able to respond to the crisis in the way that it has.”
With regard to preventive and river training portion of the project, Minister Buchanan said the NWC would be working in conjunction with the NWA to execute these works.
Meanwhile, NWC’s Corporate Communications Manager, Charles Buchanan, noted that careful management of inflows into the Mona reservoir from the Hope River, as well as prudent management of the outflows, have enabled the NWC to provide regular supplies to customers served by Mona.