Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Honourable Desmond McKenzie, has commissioned a $12 million water shop into service at Fairfield District, St. Elizabeth.
“This is not the answer to the problems of bringing potable water to residents, especially in a parish like St. Elizabeth but truth be told, this is the most comprehensive approach to the water crisis that has ever been undertaken by any Government since 2016,” stated Minister Mr. McKenzie.
He noted that funds are to be provided for the procurement of a second water truck to help address the water crisis in sections of the parish. A unit was previously purchased for $15 million.
“We have also been providing funding, not just in St. Elizabeth, but for other municipalities that require money for the trucking of water.”
Some 1,000 residents in Fairfield and surrounding areas will benefit from the facility that will provide up to 16,000 gallons of potable water daily.
The water shop was opened on August 21 and is equipped with the technologies to filter and purify the drinking water.
The Fairfield Water Shop brings to four, the number of such facilities commissioned in St. Elizabeth. The others are in Retirement, Malvern built at a cost of $9.7m; an $11.9m one in Tryall District in Junction and Top Hill, Southfield, erected at a cost of $8.9m.
“I am proud to be part of an Administration that continues to remember those who need extra assistance, extra push, and St. Elizabeth is a parish that is important to the economic life of the country, because it is what is considered as the breadbasket,” the Minister added.
For Janique Witter, a resident of Fairfield, the water shop has brought relief to residents, eliminating the need to purchase water from supermarkets or rely on costly deliveries from water trucks.
“Now we don’t have to pay for water anymore for drinking purposes. Minister, thank you so much for this opportunity. I can get fresh water. I can come and fill my bottles and get my water,” she said.
Residents had to travel to a well in Cheapside to draw water or purchase the commodity at $2,000 a drum from water trucks.