Water projects in pipeline
SOME 540,000 Jamaicans are to benefit from improved water supply in the new financial year, this according to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.
The prime minister said that 60,000 persons are to benefit from the uupgrading of the Linstead/Ewarton system in St Catherine and the Norwood system in St James as a result of a $750-million investment.
She said, too, that plans are also being developed for new water mains through the town of Lucea, Hanover, to increase supply for areas extending as far as Negril.
"This will benefit about 70,000 persons," the prime minister said. She, however, did not say when this project will start or how much it would cost.
Simpson Miller, however, was definitive as she spoke about the refurbishment of plants at Bogue in St Ann, Great River in St James, and Martha Brae in Trelawny. These projects will see $800 million being spent to improve water supply to another 360,000 residents.
Some $1.2 billion is to be spent on the construction of a groundwater facility in Innswood, St Catherine, and $450 million on the construction of the Non-Pariel to Orange Hill and Retirement water system in Westmoreland. The prime minister said 20,500 persons will benefit from the Westmoreland project when the water supply system is completed.
In addition, Simpson Miller said $205 million has been earmarked for the construction of the Mason River/Kellits/Bullhead and Sandy River water supply system in Clarendon, which will benefit 6,500 persons when completed.
Another $170 million will be spent on the construction of a pipeline from Nain to Junction in St Elizabeth. Some 25,000 residents will benefit from improvements in their water supply.
"Water systems are essential for meeting the domestic needs of the people as well as to boost agriculture, manufacturing and tourism expansion. The provision of potable water to our people, wherever they live, is critical to their quality of life," the prime minister said.
She said while the country has made significant progress in the provision of potable water to citizens, "we still have some way to go".
"The provision of water from new or upgraded sources, for domestic use and irrigation to expand agriculture, is among the priorities of the Government," Simpson Miller said.