Ground broken for ‘water shop’ in Clarendon
MINISTER OF Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie broke ground on Wednesday in Pennants, Clarendon, for the construction of a $10-million pilot ‘water shop’, which is expected to serve some 1,000 residents.
On completion of the project early next year, residents will benefit from three months’ free water. Thereafter, a cost will be applied.
The ‘water shop’ concept will see facilities being established islandwide to dramatically improve the availability of potable water for residents in communities and regions of the island usually affected by drought.
Each complex will consist of eight 1,000-gallon water tanks, which will be fenced. There will also be an administrative office with modern amenities.
“What we’re doing today is starting a process which will eliminate the degrading experience that some residents in communities across the island face,” the minister said.
McKenzie pointed out that residents, therefore, will have a critical role to play in the success of the pilot.
“If we are to replicate it across the country, which we intend to do, then this pilot project has to be successful. Therefore, community members have to buy into the project and own the project as their personal responsibility,” he said.
The plan, he said, is to have the tanks refilled frequently to avoid them running out. He further advised that the access road to the water shop will be repaired.
“So, you’re talking about 8,000 gallons of water at your disposal. We’re going to be repairing the roads and putting in the infrastructure. This should provide easier access for water. The project will also be providing some employment opportunities for residents of the community,” he added.
The water shop project is a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, the Clarendon Municipal Corporation, and Rural Water Supply Limited.