IN AN effort to improve the quality of water and wastewater services provided to the people of Jamaica, the National Water Commission (NWC) last week launched its $50 billion K-Factor programme.
The programme is a partnership between key stakeholders: the customers and the NWC.
"The partnership has, as its aim, the sustainable regeneration, rehabilitation and improvement of the water and waste-water systems, which are critical to the health, sanitation, and well-being of Jamaicans, as well as to the development of our country," Robert Pickersgill, minister of water, land, environment, and climate change said at the function, which was held at Hotel Four Seasons, St Andrew.
Dawn of a new era
He added: "Our function tonight marks the dawn of a new era of improved water and waste-water service by the NWC. It is occurring at an opportune time when resource management, conservation, and the sustainability of our water and sanitation infrastructure are among the key issues being deliberated regarding Jamaica's 2030 development agenda."
Under the K-Factor programme, it is envisaged that projects totalling some J$50 billion will be implemented over the next eight years.
In accordance with the level of urgency required to rehabilitate and improve the water and sewage systems, approximately J$15 billion worth of projects has so far been approved by the Office of Utilities Regulation for expenditure on critical service and efficiency projects.
"Through the strategic employment of the K-Factor funds and the management of the programme by a reinvigorated, cross-disciplinary unit, the NWC will target a reduction of the current non-revenue water level by a minimum of 25 per cent over the next six years," Pickersgill said.
He also said the programme would provide 5,000 direct jobs as well as employment for hundreds of skilled workers and would benefit approximately 300,000 customers throughout the island.