Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Support granted for drought relief in the west

Published:Tuesday | February 21, 2017 | 2:00 AM
In this 2013 photo, 66-year-old Wilfred Stoddart and his donkey transport drinking water from Thatch Walk Spring to his home in Upper Rock Spring.

The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development will be allocating $40 million to provide potable water to residents of drought-stricken communities in Hanover, Westmoreland, St Elizabeth and Manchester.

According to portfolio Minister Desmond McKenzie, who made the disclosure last week, the ministry's initiative will support the national drought-relief effort.

"Our efforts as a ministry will complement the primary response being carried out by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, under which the subject of water falls. The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development has the responsibility for minor water supply, and so we are proceeding, based on the information provided to us by the municipal corporations, to provide water in these parishes," McKenzie said.

The minister explained that rainfall has been particularly scarce in central, southern and western Jamaica. He said his ministry is not only committed to periodic initiatives to provide water, but to the implementation of creative, lasting solutions for people in drought-stricken communities.

"That is why the pilot of the 'water shop' was launched at Pennants in Clarendon, with the aim of having a constant supply of water at a properly managed facility within the community. The intention is to replicate this in as many affected communities as possible so that the seasonal difficulties that residents experience will ultimately be a thing of the past," he said.