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Second water shop to be built in Commodore, Portland

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) has earmarked a second water shop to meet the needs of residents in Commodore, Portland.

“The area is badly affected by a lack of consistent water. We constructed a water shop on the other side of the community, and I hear your cries. We understand the challenges that you are experiencing, and we have agreed to construct a second water shop,” announced Minister Desmond McKenzie during a tour of the area on Friday, June 11, 2021.

The first water shop in Commodore was constructed last year at a cost of approximately J$10 million.

Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Paul Thompson, said it “is a good move”, to build the second facility, as the other system is some 20 minutes away.

The concept of water shops – which was introduced in 2017 when the first facility was constructed in Pennants, Clarendon – is to provide potable water for residents in communities that are usually affected by drought. Each facility is outfitted with several 1,000-gallon water tanks as well as an administrative office.

“The water shops have been going exceptionally well…The cost of trucking water has become very expensive, and many of the municipalities are grappling under the burden,” added Minister McKenzie.

During his contribution to the 2021/2022 Sectoral Presentation in the House of Representatives; the Minister shared that the MLGRD has allocated J$110 million to construct new water shops, and the parishes to benefit will fall under the Rural Development Programme.  In total, J$325 million will be spent to provide water to rural communities across the country.

The MLGRD has constructed and commissioned into use seven water shops in the parishes of Clarendon (1), Manchester (2), St. Elizabeth (3) and Portland (1).