ST. ELIZABETH, JAMAICA: Pipe-laying project set to ease water problems in Santa Cruz which is costing $38 million .... Pain for Gain

Monday, July 27, 2015    
North East St Elizabeth Member of Parliament Raymond
 Pryce (left) with Minister of Water, Land, Environment
and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill (centre) and other
stakeholders at a site in Burnt Savannah where it is
 proposed that a canal would assist with water
distribution in St Elizabeth.
SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — In recent weeks residents, pedestrians, motorists and business operators in this south central town have had to deal with unusual traffic congestion, inconvenience, dust nuisance and a pile-up of rubble.
But most believe it will all be worth it if a $38 million pipe-laying project which is the cause of all the dislocation leads to an improved and more reliable water supply.
During a recent inspection visit by water minister Robert Pickersgill and other officials, Santa Cruz resident Jason Dunkley hailed the project as a good move since he has experienced at first hand the water supply problems.
Men at work in Santa Cruz.
“Especially on Sunday morning(s) the water pressure low. (Sometimes no water) yuh have to guh to a nearby (tank) or suh fi get some water,” Dunkley said. Another resident Fitzroy Miller described the pipe-laying work as a “progressive move”.
Pickergill said the water supply project started in 2011 with the drilling of a well in Content, just west of Santa Cruz and the laying of piplines to the town.
Project leaders say the current phase of the project, which is costing $38 million, will facilitate housing developments and provide an improved water service to an additional 23,000 people.
Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change
 Robert Pickersgill (2nd left) leading a tour party to look
at the pipe-laying in Santa Cruz.
The government’s information arm, the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) said “improvement works on Phase 1B of the Santa Cruz Water Supply System … will see some 4.4 kilometres of pipeline laid from … Santa Cruz to Lovely Point...”
Acting president of the National Water Commission (NWC) Mark Barnett said that the current issue is not so much about water shortage but making it possible to move the available supply to Santa Cruz and other areas.
He said that the challenge is that the Content well is not pumping to its full capacity and the additional pipelines being put in place are aimed at resolving that issue. Barnett said that the Santa Cruz project is expected to have benefits lasting upward of twenty years. more

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