Ground bro­ken for ‘water shop’ in Claren­don

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

MCKEN­ZIE

“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.

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