Wed | Dec 1, 2021

Holness says government has long-term water plan to address drought

Published:Wednesday | March 3, 2021 | 3:44 PM
Garth Jackson, Vice President, Engineering and Capital Projects at the National Water Commission (left), Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) and Senator Aubyn Hill, views the pipes are being laid along Spanish Town Road. (contributed photo)

As Jamaica approaches the dry season and the National Water Commission (NWC) encourages customers to practise conservation techniques, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared that the government has a long-term plan to improve the country’s water supply.

“In a few weeks' time, we are heading back into dry season, and at that point in time, the public focus will shift again, and then it will be a different conversation about what is the government doing,” Holness said.

“Government has a long-term plan, and that plan is being rolled out, not just incrementally or sequentially, but there are many projects happening all over the place.”

Holness made this disclosure on Friday, February 26, while touring a section of Spanish Town Road in Kingston where the NWC is installing transmission and distribution mains to improve the water supply in sections of the Corporate Area. As part of the project, which should be completed by December 2021, aged infrastructure, which lead to frequent breaks and leaks, will be replaced.

The Spanish Town Transmission Main project is being undertaken to the tune of $3.5 billion.

During the tour, Holness also revealed that plans are now being developed for the Content Water Supply Project that will bring water from the Rio Cobre in St Catherine to the Corporate Area. He said that the plan is in the final stages and should be signed off by Cabinet in the near future.

In the same breath, Holness also noted that the government is now looking at other ways to increase water supply in the entire island in order to limit disruptions during dry months.

“I want the public to be assured that, in spite of the pandemic and all of the other challenges, the government is continuing to make investments in securing our water supply to improve our quality of life and the convenience of our citizens,” Holness said.

The country is already facing dry conditions, as less than adequate rainfall is already negatively impacting some NWC systems.

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