Current Affairs

Current Affairs



Blythe signs agreement for KMA water supply improvement
Observer Reporter
Thursday, February 28, 2002

BLYTHE... it is necessary to rehabilitate the existing water supply facility and restore them to desired levels
THE government and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation yesterday signed a US$172-million agreement to fund the completion of the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) water supply and rehabilitation project.

The engineering work for the project has been contracted to Japanese engineering consulting firm Nippon Koei and the US-based Montgomery Watson Harza. The project, which began last March, aims to improve the potable water supply for the KMA comprising Kingston and St Andrew, greater Spanish Town and South East St Catherine. It is expected to be completed in 2006.

To date preparatory work has already been done by the National Water Commission (NWC) on the inventory and mapping of water supply facilities in the greater Spanish Town area; commencement of a similar exercise in south east St Catherine; installation of outdoor meters, and the compilation of a customer data base, water and housing minister, Dr Karl Blythe said.

First component of the project is expected to cost US$83.7 million, of which the government will contribute US$20 million and the JBIC US$60 million.

"With the assistance of the JBIC, the government and people of Japan, the government of Jamaica has secured funding for the first component of the project amounting to US$83 million, which includes the US$3.7 million value of the consultancy contract," Blythe said.

Major project elements of the project include:

* reduction of unaccounted for water through procurement and installation of 42 bulk flow metres;

* replacement of approximately 17 kilometres of aged water mains;

* rehabilitation of existing water supply infrastructure including 27 wells, five re-lift stations, six tanks and reservoirs and the Spanish Town water treatment Plant.

Currently 946,900 residents are served by the KMA system, but Blythe said he expected that figure to grow to 1,006,400 by the year 2010.

Blythe said that the project was necessary to improve the current inadequate water supply facilities and service.

"The poor state of existing water supply facilities and high levels of unaccounted for water have significantly contributed to the unacceptable levels of service to major sections of the KMA. In order to improve the current service levels and to meet the increasing water demand of developing and expanding KMA, it is necessary to rehabilitate the existing water supply facility and restore them to desired levels," he said.