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JIS News

A $73 million project to improve the sewerage system in the Liguanea area of St. Andrew is currently underway, which should significantly protect the aquifers.

Three works are included in the project – the $33.7 million Hope Road (side roads) project; the $15 million Swallowfield Road sewerage expansion project; and the $24 million upgrading of the sewerage system serving Seymour and Retreat Avenues.

They are being carried out under the Kingston and St. Andrew (KSA) Sewerage Improvement and Expansion Project and funded through the National Water Commission’s K-Factor programme.

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, who toured the Hope Road works on April 16, told JIS News that the project, expected to last six months, is critical not only to the 400 users expected to benefit in this phase of the project, but is significant in helping to secure the potable water sources.

“The fact is that only about 30 per cent of the country is sewered and here in the Corporate Area where the head count is greater, it is easier to do the sewering. It will be gravity fed into the main. The whole idea is to get this down into the Soapberry plant (in St. Catherine), where the capacity exists,” he said.

Mr. Pickersgill said the project would help to reduce the amount of seepage from pits that render the aquifers in the Liguanea area unusable.

“Unfortunately, the Liguanea Plains, with a lot of water below (in aquifers) is not usable, because of what has taken place, so the more we can sewer, the better off we’ll be in producing more potable water,” he noted.

Member of Parliament for the area, Julian Robinson, told JIS News that convincing the residents to co-operate and accommodate the works and work crew was not a difficult task, as a series of community meetings and consultations were held where it was explained what the works would entail and the benefits to be derived.

“We have over 200 gated communities in the constituency, and we have a lot of conversions from single dwellings to multiple-dwellings, so there is the increased pressure on the infrastructure, both for water and for sewerage. So, it is imperative that when these conversions do take place, that persons are connected to the sewer main,” he said.

Roads included in the project are: Sandy Park, Donhead Avenue, Richings Avenue, Walford Close, Hopeglade Mews, Hollywood Avenue and Mews, Sandhurst Avenue, Winston Avenue, Hope Mews, Hillcrest Avenue and Glenhope Avenue.

By O. Rodger Hutchinson, JIS Reporter