Thu | Nov 26, 2020

Flower Hill receives piped water, after 30 years without access

Published:Sunday | August 9, 2020 | 12:00 AMJIS
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, addresses residents at a ceremony to commission into service the Flower Hill Water Supply System in St. James on Friday (JIS photo).

After 30 years without access to potable water, the community of Flower Hill in St James has received its own supply system. 

The water system was commissioned into service by Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Friday. It was implemented at a cost of $110-million and executed by the Rural Water Supply Limited, funded through the government’s Cap A programme.

The Jamaica Information Service (JIS) reports that the new system consists of two re-lifting stations, storage tanks, and gravity lines, which will be fed with water from the greater Montego Bay water system.

Addressing a ceremony to commission the new system, Holness said the project will improve the living standard of residents and stimulate economic growth.

“For you (residents) everyday you had to contemplate how [you] were going to live your life without water and for many of you, it would have been a struggle. In modern Jamaica, we should reach the point where everybody has potable water, meaning water that you can drink; water that you can use to do your domestic chores within your homes and that is our goal,” he said.

Holness noted that the government, through the creation of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation has been working to improve access to water for all Jamaicans, in particular those in under-served communities across the country.

“Economic growth is dependent upon you the people having water not just for the convenience, but is also for the economy of the country for those people who need water for irrigation,” Holness said.

The prime minister also said more than 80 water supply projects have been completed by the Rural Water Supply Limited this year.

Some residents of Flower Hill were visibly elated to have potable water running through their pipes for the first time in their lifetime.

Among them was Doreen Harris who told JIS that she was very happy to now have access to the commodity.

“I was born in Flower Hill and…I saw my mother, my father and older siblings carrying water, so I want to say thanks to all those who participated in getting us water,” Ms. Harris said.

Another resident, Jean Scarlet, said the water supply system is a welcome move, which will ease the burden of the water challenges faced by residents.

“I am very happy because this water problem has been plaguing this community for years… and for us to see the water turn on…and for us to get it in the house, that’s a big boost,” she said.

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