200 St Ann homes to get electricity, says Vaz
ST ANN, Jamaica— Two hundred households in four St Ann communities are to be wired for electricity under the Rural Electrification Programme (REP), said Energy Minister Daryl Vaz.
The areas are Douglas Castle, Eight Mile, Fowler Town, and a fourth community to be named.
The initiative, which is being carried out by the Ministry of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport, in partnership with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), will provide for basic house wiring. This will enable residents to register legally on the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) grid.
Additionally, there will be an expansion of pole-line infrastructure to support household access to the grid.
During a recent visit to Douglas Castle, where 50 communities will benefit from the REP project, Vaz said the ministry is aiming to complete electrification works in the community within the next budget year.
“Those details will be worked out because what you are seeing here is, once again, an extension of a developing area. I am insistent that JPS, the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and my Ministry work out some kind of understanding to allow
JPS to move with more alacrity in terms of expansion of lines off of their primary lines because these are really extensions of existing communities and should be provided for by JPS,” Vaz contended.
Managing Director of JSIF, Omar Sweeney, said that Douglas Castle has developed good economic enterprises, but the area needs comprehensive electricity coverage.
“It is not just related to wiring of the homes, but things like street lighting and safety come into play when you don’t have light-pole infrastructure. And so, we intend to include this in our package for 2024/2025. So, we will immediately go into the planning phase with JPS and the Ministry on the design, development and approvals, and we look forward to implementing this in 2024,” Sweeney said.
For his part, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service and Member of Parliament for St Ann South Western, Zavia Mayne, said that residents are happy that the project is being undertaken and are looking forward to the infrastructure being put in place.