LUCEA, Hanover — The State Minister in the Water Ministry, Ian Hayles, says rural communities in Western Hanover will benefit from a recent approval of a $680-million water improvement project.
"The $680 million will cover every nook and cranny of Hanover. Nothing will be left out," Hayles told the Observer.
According to Hayles communities that are expected to benefit include Dry Hill, Kew, Canon, Middlesex, Blenheim, Rock Spring, Kendal, Cesnock, North Hill, Clifton and Askenish.
The project, which is expected to pump water from the coastal main to inland rural communities, includes the changing out of inefficient National Water Commission (NWC) pumps across the constituency.
Hayles, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Western Hanover, was responding to criticism made by councillor of the Riverside Division, Lester Crooks (PNP), during a Parish Council meeting three weeks ago.
Crooks had suggested that as a junior minister in the Ministry of Water, Hayles should be doing more to deal with water challenges facing Hanover residents.
"We have an MP who is in the Ministry of Water. You need to do something about it man. A your parish. You represent the parish...," Crooks said at the meeting.
However, Hayles said that at an NWC K-factor meeting held at Global Villa in the parish - which he claimed Crooks had attended - the $680-million project was announced to deal with water problems in rural communities. The project was going through the procurement process, following which work is expected to commence sometime in November, Hayles said.
The State Minister also said that with an ongoing US$1.8 million laying of pipelines in Lucea, the parish is expected to benefit from improvement in supply from the Great River Treatment Plant. This will provide some five million gallons of water. He said that would allow the Logwood System in Western Hanover to focus on providing more water to the tourist resort area, Negril.
Hayles said all is being done to have water conditions in the parish improved, as shortly an announcement will be made concerning the construction of two new hotels in the parish along with expected expansion of the Grand Palladium Hotel.