An eight million dollar water shop facility is in operation in the community of Marlie Hill, South Manchester where residents will now access the commodity in a sustainable way.
This the second such facility to be constructed by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development following one in Pennants, Clarendon, that was opened last year.
“Constant access to clean water is a fundamental standard of good public health, and of national development. It is vital not only to sanitation and disease control, but it is also critical to agricultural production, manufacturing, and all types of economic activity,” said Portfolio Minister, Honourable Desmond McKenzie, during a special ceremony to officially open the water shop on May 14, 2018.
“This initiative of building water shops is different from anything that has been done before, especially at the level of Local Government, which is responsible for minor water supply. We have had, and still have in some places, parish water tanks and wells.”
He highlighted that access to clean water is a benchmark of prosperity, which the Government is working hard to bring to every corner of Jamaica. He also noted that the practice of trucking water to communities is not always impartial and often times, those persons in real need are overlooked.
“The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development is, through water shops, moving to address as the first priority, the needs of our people in drought-affected communities across Jamaica, in a sustainable way. Parts of the southern parishes of Jamaica, and in particular, sections of Manchester and St. Elizabeth, have traditionally suffered from drought,” Minister McKenzie added.
“What we are doing through the water shops, is to create secure dispensaries within communities, which are professionally managed, and to which people may go to purchase their water whenever they need it.”
The Minister also urged residents to become custodians of the Marlie Hill Water Shop thereby protecting the investment, as well as treating it and the people who manage it with respect.
“It is an investment in you. It is an investment in the improvement of your community. It is your tax dollars at work, invested through the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.”
The parish of St. Elizabeth has also been identified as a prospective beneficiary of a water shop facility in coming months.
“Water security is vital to food security and economic security, and we will continue to work for you, to ensure that you continue to experience improvements in your lives,” Minister McKenzie concluded.