Greater Mandeville water project set to bring relief
The Greater Mandeville Water Supply Improvement Project will ensure reliable access to water for thousands of residents of Manchester and sections of neighbouring St. Elizabeth, addressing years of water woes.
The multibillion-dollar project, which spans five years, is now in its third year of development.
It includes the supply of well pumps and transmission pipeline replacements, supply and installation of a 200,000-imperial-gallon steel tank, construction of three new well sites, and installation of new transmission mains to replace aged infrastructure and seven new pumping units.
Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Matthew Samuda, said that the system is part of Government’s plan to build resilience in water supply.
“When completed, more than 35,000 constituents will benefit,” he noted.
“It will provide reliable water to all of Mandeville. All of the communities from Pepper in St. Elizabeth and all the way to central Mandeville will benefit, and significantly, the project will build resilience in communities including the Northern Caribbean University (NCU),” he added.
Samuda was delivering the keynote address at the closing ceremony of NCU’s Research Week 2023 last Thursday.
He said that the government is taking steps to protect the environment and build the country’s capacity to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
“We are ensuring that where seawalls are required, we are doing the technical designs and trying to attract international funding to do it. We are actively working to restore the greatest areas of degradation of mangrove forests on the south coast, and actively working with others to ensure we put in place solutions that not only capture carbon, but also protect our near-shore environment,” Senator Samuda told the largely virtual audience.
He noted that the effects of climate change are already evident. “Rainfall patterns have shifted and sea levels have risen to claim some lands,” he pointed out.
Samuda said that even as the country grapples with a problem created by large, industrialised countries, “we have to do our part in reducing emissions”.
This is by, among other things “changing how you produce energy and changing out the national fleet to electric vehicles”, he pointed out.
Samuda said that Jamaica was the 11th country in the world to submit to the United Nations (UN) its updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), which are the standards the country has set for emissions reduction.
Jamaica and the United Kingdom were cochairs of the NDC partnership for two years, up to November 2022, and the partnership worked with the UN to get countries to make commitments and submit credible scientifically provable plans to bring emissions down.
“Our NDCs have committed to a 40-per-cent reduction in emissions by 2030, and we will achieve that by ensuring that 50 per cent of our energy production is from renewables by 2030,” Samuda said.
He cited the Wigton Wind Farm in Manchester and the solar park in Westmoreland as evidence of Jamaica’s commitment towards renewable energy.
In addition, work is slated to start this year on construction of a floating solar plant at Mona Reservoir to provide 45 megawatts of clean, reliable, energy, and the ministry is looking to engage private investors to produce 200 megawatts from a combination of wind, solar and hydropower.