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'We accept responsibility' - Gov't sourcing funds to complete North Street sewage line rehabilitation - Chang

Published:Friday | March 24, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Raw sewage flowing along North Street, Kingston, earlier this week.

While urging cooperation and insisting that residents and businesses refrain from dumping waste and garbage into the North Street, Kingston, sewage lines, Dr Horace Chang, minister with responsibility for water, environment and housing, said that his ministry accepts responsibility for the continuous free flowing of sewage along the roadway, which should have been corrected after a recent lengthy multimillion-dollar project.

Following a visit to the area yesterday, Chang said that he was not trying to shift the blame but noted that it was critical that the residents play their part in assisting the rehabilitation of the sewer system.

"We accept responsibility, but we need cooperation from everybody to make it work efficiently, and we will continue the work to rehabilitate the system," he stated.

He said that the entire sewage line stretching from North Street through to Spanish Town Road was in need of rehabilitation, adding that his ministry was in the process of sourcing funding to continue the project, which started last year December. So far, the Government has spent approximately $36 million on the rehabilitation work on a section of North Street, which was supposed to correct the over 10-year problem of raw sewage overflowing on to North Street in the vicinity of St George's College.




Chang said that the current system has outlived its lifespan but that the situation was being made worse because of the careless and undisciplined actions of some people.

"Part of the problem downtown in the chunk line, especially North Street, is that it is used heavily for garbage disposal in addition to waste disposal, and once garbage goes in there, it is a problem and the residents are not inclined to cooperate, and it may look like neglect on our part, but that's not quite true," he said.

The National Water Commission will be undertaking a series of public-education forums in the community to get persons to understand their role in taking better care of the nation's infrastructure.