Jamaican News

Water A Priority for Economic Development– PM

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says that access to potable water is critical in ensuring that the Jamaican economy continues to grow and is able to reach its full potential.

“We all know the saying that ‘water is life’. Indeed, if you are going to grow agriculture, then you must have water… . If you are going to grow the hotel industry, you must also have water. There is hardly any economic activity that I can think of that doesn’t require the input of water,” he pointed out.

He noted that in creating the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, “we knew we had to place water under that ministerial portfolio”.

“I just want to reemphasise the importance of water. It is critical in everything that we do, and as a government, we are here to ensure that our citizens have access to a clean and high-quality water supply,” he added.

The Prime Minister was delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 27th annual Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) Conference and Exhibition at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in St. James on October 8.

He told the delegates that the provision of water to rural communities is a top priority.

“For many of you who are from the Caribbean, providing water to the rural areas can be a major challenge. There is always the infrastructure cost, the capital cost, and so on. Also, when you look at the recovery based upon the infrastructural capital outlay, you will find that there is a significant challenge,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister noted that the National Water Commission (NWC) and the National Works Agency (NWA) are now more in sync in the delivery of water and roads to communities.

“In the past, these agencies used to work without each knowing what the other was doing. What we have now is proper coordination, where the NWC will not come and simply dig up a road and leave it like that. The NWA is now fully on top of what is happening and where the public is now better served,” he pointed out.

More than 400 regional delegates and international participants are attending the five-day event, which is being held under the theme ‘Climate Resilience: Innovation and Partnership for Sustainable Water and Wastewater Development’.

The discussions and deliberations will focus on a wide range of themes and topics covering water, wastewater and solid waste management.

The event is being co-hosted by the Government of Jamaica, NWC and CWWA.

source: www.jis.gov.jm

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