KINGSTON, Jamaica - Capital projects, totalling $7 billion, which are programmed to upgrade Jamaica’s water infrastructure during fiscal year 2023/24, represent the largest investment made in the sector to date.
This, according to the minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Matthew Samuda, who said the figure is a significant increase over the $4 billion worth of investment made last year.
He was speaking during the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) inaugural Port Royal Lecture Series on Tuesday at the institution’s Palisadoes Park campus in Kingston.
The upgrading works, being undertaken by the National Water Commission (NWC), include building additional storage for increased capacity, energy optimisation, replacing decaying pipelines for improved distribution, and reducing non-revenue water.
“It is all-island. It is more capital works than have been ever done, certainly in my lifetime. It will benefit citizens in every part of the country,” he said.
Noting that Jamaica’s cyclical drought seasons are exacerbated by the impact of climate change, Minister Samuda said these engagements will create greater resilience in and further strengthen Jamaica’s water sector.
“In 2016, 71 per cent of our water collected, stored and processed was either leaked or stolen. So, building up our resilient network is absolutely critical, and we are well on our way in that space,” he stated.
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