400 NWC employees to be trained, certified
Some 400 employees of the National Water Commission (NWC) are to be trained and certified under the NWC's Kingston and St Andrew (KSA) Non-Revenue Water Reduction (NRW) Co-Management Programme.
The programme is a US$42.5-million initiative to reduce water loss due to leaks, theft or metering inaccuracies. The Jamaica Information Service reported that Dr Horace Chang, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, disclosed this information recently at a KSA NRW Programme stakeholder meeting at The Knutsford Court Hotel.
He also indicated that a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the training would be signed shortly. The signatories include the NWC, HEART Trust/NTA, and Miya, an international water-efficiency entity headquartered in Israel.
HEART trainees will also benefit from instruction in areas such as construction supervision.
The KSA NRW Programme is being undertaken in conjunction with Miya and is funded by a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank. It is expected to be completed within five years. The programme will engage in a number of activities to reduce non-revenue water from 65 per cent to 30 per cent over the next three years. These include the replacement of aged pipelines and meters, the management and control of pipe pressure and the replacement of all service connections. Chang stated that communities outside of the KSA area will benefit from other water improvement programmes.
"We've indicated that we're changing the mains in Black River, which is a small area relative to the Corporate Area, but they have a big main. We're going to change that main. It is a much smaller project," he said.
Meanwhile, chairman of the NWC, Senator Aubyn Hill, said the NRW's intervention is expected to transform many aspects of the NWC's operations in the Corporate Area and contribute even more meaningfully to economic growth and development.
"It is expected to make more water available for productive and paid use, to provide a more reliable and consistent service, as well as to enhance the resilience of our water systems against droughts and other climate-change effects," he said.
The programme will provide an improved and more resilient water supply system that meets the needs of the NWC's valued customers in KSA, Hill noted. For his part, project director of Miya, Paul Fanner, expressed his commitment to meet all the programme's targets.