Residents in West Portland who are without potable water for more than 30 years were given a glimmer of hope by their Member of Parliament, Daryl Vaz, who assured them that their water supply systems are to be upgraded.
Special emphasis is now placed on the Shirley Castle water supply system following the recovery of documents from the Urban Development Commission (UDC), which points to the tendering of a contract before 1989.
The documents indicated that a gravity-fed water supply was to be erected to satisfy all communities, including Shirley Castle, Fruitful Vale, Commodore and Swift River.
"All specifications were met and a grant of $5 million U.S. was provided by the Government of Japan in 1991," Mr.Vaz said. The then contract did not involve the National Water Commission (NWC), but rather the UDC and the Ministry of Agriculture. These documents will be sent to the Water Ministry, and if funding is found by NWC and other agencies, it will satisfy all water problems in those communities," he added.
Mr. Vaz and a team from the NWC toured several communities in Western Portland, viewing several water supply systems, including Lancaster, Swift River, Fruitful Vale, Dunbar and Warsaw, along with Mount Pleasant - for future upgrading. The upgrading of the Lancaster water supply system will provide better service to residents in the communities of Tranquility, Balcarres and Spring Hill.