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More Jamaicans getting piped water


More Jamaicans getting piped water

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MORE JAMAICANS ARE NOW accessing quality potable water as a result of improved infrastructure to harness and deliver the commodity.

General Manager for Engineering at Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL), Douglas Wilson, tells JIS News that the agency, a department of the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, has put in place critical water systems, and in spite of the recent drought, more Jamaicans are getting quality potable water.

He points out that thousands of residents in the parishes, who were severely impacted by long periods of inadequate supplies, now have piped water in their homes. This, he notes, has been achieved through the rehabilitation of catchment tanks and the completion of several small water systems.

“The people are ecstatic and are very happy. We were able to make a significant impact in some of those drought stricken areas of St Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Clarendon and other parishes too, but those in particular, as we had concentrated our efforts. We have completed close to 30 [catchment] tanks this year and those have made a significant impact,” Wilson says.

Some of the water supply projects completed include Cassava Pond in St Catherine; Mahoe Ridge to Horseguard/Garlands and Gutters/Retirement in St James; Hagley Gap/Kerrick Hill/ Penlyne Castle in St Thomas; Haining in Portland and Farkett Lane, in St Catherine.

Among those on track for completion soon are  Pear Tree River/Richmond Hill/Lionel in Eastern St Thomas; Llandewey in Western St Thomas and Bellisle in Westmoreland.

The RWSL has spent some $100 million on water projects, with funding from the Government and international financiers, such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Wilson says getting water to communities is not always an easy operation, as there are always challenges to overcome. Chief among the challenges are finance, distance and terrain.

Even though water is available, he added, it can be fed by gravity, the distance, the type of terrain and the cost to execute the project becomes prohibitive, rendering the project not feasible to implement.

He adds that as much as possible, solar energy is being integrated as an operational strategy. (JIS)

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