While the Ministry, working in conjunction with the Local Authorities, have been able to provide limited financial support for the trucking of water from the Equalization Fund to drought affected communities across the island, efforts are underway to find a more extensive solution. Minister of Local Government & Community Development, the honourable Noel Arscott made the disclosure at a recently held press briefing.
The Minister also revealed that during the first quarter of this financial year the work was done on the catchment tanks and entombed springs in two parishes, bushing was also done in the vicinity surrounding the facilities. The areas in which these works were done are the Kensington Catchment Tank, Mount Dawson Water Supply System and Seafield Spring Catchment in St Catherine. In St Thomas the areas surrounding the Hayfield Minor Water Supply System, Beacon Hill Minor Water Supply System and Aeleus Valley Minor Water Supply System were cleared.
“These upgrades have not only created worthwhile employment but have benefitted the over two thousand (2000) people they (catchment facilities) serve”, the Minister said.
He also disclosed that the Ministry is now engaged in an Inter-Ministerial effort to respond to drought affected communities through financing of $50M, of which $10M will be used to repair Rapid Response trucks.
Additionally, it was revealed that the Ministry will be seeking to conclude an audit of standpipes across the island to ensure that those that are needed are operational and maintained, while those that are no longer necessary are disconnected accordingly.
Meanwhile, the Ministry has been able to clear outstanding balance due to the National Water Commission for Public Water totalling $239.7M this amount has been carried forward over the last three (3) financial years.
Minister Arscott was speaking at a press brief held on Thursday, May 2012, to highlight his first 100days in office.