JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Work is underway on the Banana Walk to Ferry segment of the Rio Cobre pipeline replacement project in St. Catherine.
  • The project, being implemented at a cost of US$24.46 million, is a component of the JWSIP.
  • The works will result in improved, high quality and continuous water supply service for the customers served.

Work is underway on the Banana Walk to Ferry segment of the Rio Cobre pipeline replacement project in St. Catherine, which will benefit thousands of residents of the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA).

The project, being implemented at a cost of US$24.46 million, is a component of the Jamaica Water Sector Improvement Project (JWSIP), Category B, being undertaken by the National Water Commission (NWC). It is scheduled for completion in 2014.

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, said that the undertaking is part of wider initiatives by the NWC that will be instrumental in ensuring water security for Jamaica’s urban, industrial and commercial areas.

He was speaking on November 21 at the official ground breaking ceremony held at the project site office at the Caymanas Country Club Estates.

“The NWC has embarked on the process of implementing projects that will improve and rehabilitate water production and other distribution facilities serving the Kingston and St. Andrew (KSA) area, while reducing the levels of loss and leakage from the KSA water distribution system,” Mr. Pickersgill said.

The scope of work include: the replacement of segment two of the Rio Cobre pipeline between Content District and Ferry with ductile iron pipes; provision of an automatic flow control valve to ensure optimal operation and energy efficiency of the pumps; and installation of meters.

The works will result in improved, high quality and continuous water supply service for the customers served; energy savings, and a reduction in maintenance and operating cost; elimination of the need for trucking to affected areas; and greater customer satisfaction and potential for regularizing existing connections.

Acting President of the NWC, Mark Barnett, noted that the project will provide an engine for economic growth for urban settlements across Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine.

“This function, indeed, marks the beginning of construction of miles of pipeline that will serve over 270,000 customers. Events like these demonstrate the commitment of the Ministry and the NWC to make safe water accessible to more people,” Mr. Barnett said.

He added that when completed, the Rio Cobre system will, as part of the wider JWISP, deliver long-term sustainable supply of water to the targeted urban service areas.

Member of Parliament for South East St. Catherine and Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Colin Fagan, thanked the NWC for taking on the project as “we will be much better off later on.”

The JWSIP is the single largest comprehensive water supply improvement project being undertaken by the NWC to increase water supply to more Jamaicans and improve the reliability and quality of the commodity.

The main objectives of the JWSIP are: to provide an additional 20 million gallons of potable water per day to meet demand, particularly in the Corporate Area, and several other sections of the country, eliminating the perennial need for major water lock offs due to supply shortage and other conditions; and to improve the overall efficiency and financial viability of the NWC.