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$300 million water supply project for St James

Observer West reporter

Thursday, February 13, 2020

SOMERTON, St James — Ground was broken last week in St James East Central for the construction of a 300,000 gallon water storage tank, which represents the initial phase of the $300-million Canaan/ Adelphi Water Supply System.

According to Member of Parliament Ed Bartlett, the tank, on completion, will receive water pumped from Canaan Well which will be gravity fed into the communities of Slippery Gut, Orange, Tamballa, Bottom Road, Top Road, Dip, Industry, Latium, Lottery, Sunderland, Goodwill, Content, Bullock, and Windsor.

The tank, he explained, is in keeping with his promise of providing an improved water supply system, made to residents during the campaign leading up to the 2016 General Election.

“This is a very happy moment to me as member of parliament because this represents part of my commitment to you in the last round of my husting in 2016,” Bartlett said at the ground-breaking ceremony.

“I made this a part of my campaign manifesto to transform the water security arrangements in this constituency, and the Canaan source represents the basis on which this could be done because the Canaan source is the largest source of water in St James. So, I am very pleased that we have, after so much trepidation and over three-and-a-half years of suffering,” he said.

Audley Thompson, managing director of Rural Water Supply Limited, said the agency has been contracted by the National Water Commission to carry out all major designs and supervise the construction of the project.

Under the initiative, water will be sourced from the improved Canaan Well which, Thompson said, can adequately serve a population of 70,000 people — each with approximately 35 gallons of water daily.  

The project includes the installation of new pump equipment at Canaan Well, the installation of a transmission pipeline to a terminal storage tank at Cedar Hill in Somerton, and the installation of distribution pipelines spanning as far as Goodwill, Hurlock, Chelsea, Irwin, Latium and surrounding communities in central St James.

Thompson revealed that the first phase of the project is the awarding of a contract, to Tank Weld Limited, valued at $49.7million, for the construction of the storage tank,  which is scheduled for completion in 26 weeks.

“The contract for the supply and installation of the pumping plant equipment is anticipated to be approved by the Cabinet at the end of this month, with supply and installation to be effected in 24 weeks,” Thompson said.

“The contract for the supply and installation of the transmission pipeline to Cedar Hill and minor districts will be carried out in the next financial year.”

The project is being funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund.

Several residents, who are expected to benefit from the improvement in their water supply, have expressed gratitude for the initiative.

Canaan resident Walford Williams said even though his community is not as severely challenged with water shortage as other affected areas, he is grateful.

“Water is life, therefore this is a project that all the expected beneficiaries must welcome,” he stressed.

Merle Beckford of Orange was equally enthusiastic about the prospects of consistent water in her pipe.

“This has long been in the pipeline, so therefore this is welcome news,” she shared.
Goodwill native Joseph Hamilton also welcomed the project.

“In this day and age, water in everyone's household should be a right and not a privilege. We surely welcome this, for especially the senior citizens and children who will benefit from this new system,” he told the Jamaica Observer West.