Photo: Sharon EarleMinister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickergill (3rd right) is assisted by Member of Parliament for South St. James, Hon. Derrick Kellier (4th right), in unveiling the sign at site of the Mahoe Ridge to Horse Guard Water Supply System, which was officially commissioned into service by Minister Pickersgill on Friday (October 30). Others (from left) are: Councillor for the Catadupa Division, Gladstone Bent; Managing Director of the Water Resources Authority, Basil Fernandez; General Manager, Rural Water Supply Limited, Douglas Wilson; Mayor of Montego Bay and Councillor for the Maroon Town Division, Glendon Harris; and Councillor for the Welcome Hall Division, Martin Kellier.
Hundreds of residents of five farming communities in South St. James will now have improved access to potable water following completion of the Mahoe Ridge to Horse Guard Water Supply System.
Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, on Friday (October 30), officially commissioned the system into service, which will benefit the areas of Mahoe Ridge, Horse Guard, Red Dirt and sections of Garland and Cold Spring.
Undertaken by the Rural Water Supply Limited at a cost of $9 million, the project entailed installation of three water tanks with total capacity of 7,000 gallons; construction of pumping station with chlorination room, and a 6,000-gallon concrete sump, complete with a gas pump; and installation of 1.4 kilometres of pipeline and two fire hydrants.
In his address, Minister Pickersgill informed that the commissioning of the scheme is in keeping with Government’s commitment to provide all rural residents with access to potable water by the year 2020.
By providing communities with a safe, reliable source of water, Minister Pickersgill said, they will be better able to attract new businesses and expand existing operations. This will, in turn, increase employment opportunities and development within rural areas.
Minister Pickersgill noted further that provision of potable water “contributes to cleaner, healthier households and a cleaner healthier community.”
He urged the beneficiaries to take care of the system and conserve on the use of water by recycling wherever possible. “We need to be more diligent in detecting and reporting leaks. We must explore alternative means of receiving and storing water such as rainwater harvesting,” he added.
Minister Pickersgill also urged them to help protect the country’s water resources.
“Taking care of the water that we have is not the responsibility of central government and the local authorities alone. Each and every one of us must play our part,” he said.
“We must take care of our environment, and stop polluting our rivers and streams with garbage and other forms of waste matter,” he noted further.
Member of Parliament for South St. James, Hon. Derrick Kellier; and Councillors for the Catadupa and Maroon Town divisions, Gladstone Bent and Glendon Harris respectively, expressed gratitude for the completion of the project.
The St. James Parish Council has responsibility for monitoring and maintenance of the water system.