Piped water, at last
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Franklyn Witter CONSTITUENCY: St Elizabeth South Eastern
FRANKLYN WITTER opened his debate contribution, claiming that the Essex Valley water project that started in 2009 under the then Bruce Golding administration was halted during the last four years of the Portia Simpson Miller administration.
“Oh Lord!” Robert Pickersgill, the water minister under the Simpson Miller administration, dismissively said at Witter’s claims about the project that’s expected to benefit about 14,000 persons.
Witter continued, however, saying: “We often say that water is life and, therefore, I was very disappointed that such an important project was never a priority between 2012 and 2015. I am pleased to announce today that after four years of neglect, the South East St Elizabeth Essex Valley Domestic Water Project has been revived.”
Witter told the House that since March, a month after his election, eight kilometres of piping has been laid, completing phase one of the project.
In 2015, Pickersgill announced in Parliament that work was to continue on the project, but it appeared not much was done as Horace Chang, the Government’s voice on water, said in July contracts relating to the $90 million project were to be tendered.
Meanwhile, the Jamaica Labour Party MP said close to $10 million, or half of his $20 million Constituency Development Fund allocation, has
been budgeted for the maintenance of the road network in the constituency.
“As one of the largest farming communities in Jamaica, I think that we must have reasonably good roads in order for the farmers to market their produce,” he said.