Wed | Aug 22, 2018

St Elizabeth MC seeks funding to truck water to drought-stricken communities

Published:Sunday | July 15, 2018 | 11:47 AM
In this file photo, a farmer uses a bucket to water cabbage and cauliflower in Tryall, St Elizabeth as drought gripped sections of the island.

Melville Harris, Gleaner Writer

The St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation says it needs approximately $20 million to truck water to drought-stricken communities in the parish.

At its recently held monthly meeting the municipal corporation passed two resolutions seeking funding from the Ministry of Local Governmennt and Community Development and the Ministry of Agriculture.

The resolutions, which were unanimously passed, sought $10 million from each ministry.

The money is needed to provide domestic water to residents especially on the southern side of the parish who are now reeling from the effects of a drought.

A resolution was also passed seeking to have the relaxation of a regulation for truckers who will be engaged in the trucking of water for domestic use to obtain certiication of sterilization from the National Water commission.

Councillors pointed out that the cost to have a truck certified as sterilized was estimated at about $25,000 and that truckers were not willing pay the cost. They complained about the time it took to get this certification.

The councillors also want a reduction in the cost of water bought from the NWC to truck to householders, pointiong out that many of the householders were NWC customers and that the utility did not have adequate trucks to provide water for all its customers.

In the second resolution to the Ministry of Agriculture, the municipal corporation says the remaining $10 million was needed to truck water to farmers who were badly affected by the drought.

Councillor for the Pedro Plains Division Jeremy Palmer outlined that the assistance to farmers was urgently needed for them to continue production.

At a recent post cabinet press breifing, Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenszie announced that $30 million would be allocated to municipalities for trucking water to householders affected by drought.