Over 1,700 Persons Receive Improved Access to Potable Water in Jamaica

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More than 1,700 residents from the communities of Thornton, Sunning Hill, Seaforth, Mt. Pelier and Prospect in Jamaica now have access to a reliable water delivery system with the implementation of the Thornton Water Supply Completion Project; funded under the Caribbean Development Bank's Basic Needs Trust Fund and implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF). Through the recently completed project, a pumping unit, motor control centre, 3,600 metres of iron pipes and laterals to individual homes were installed. The project also included the provision of a booster station, storage tanks, a chlorinator and a sand filter. Ms. Elrech Dean, a resident of Thornton is elated. She noted, "In the days when we didn't have any water we had to go down into a deep deep gully take turns in filling our buckets, then come back up with buckets of water on our heads. That water was to drink and to cook so we could not use that to wash. When the washing time came for the clothes we had to go to Plantain Garden River one mile away. If rain fell when we were down by the river we would have to put the clothes in the pan and take them home wet and it was very heavy to come back up the hill again." Golden Valley resident, Mr. George Cole said that the previous pump at Thornton pumping station did not work well. "Sometimes we did without water for one week sometimes six months. We used to have to go down to the reservoir to get water or when rain fell we would catch water in barrels and plastic containers to wash clothes. Sometimes only two periods of the year we would have water. We had to bathe in the river or the waterfall," he explained. Mr. Cole also noted that businesses suffered in the communities as they "used to rely on water trucks but they were not frequent and only came once or twice every two weeks." "Now everybody is happy, the new water system is functioning well", he declared. JSIF Managing Director, Scarlette Gillings hailed the Thornton Water Supply Completion Project as a "true community effort" involving the Jamaica Agricultural Society; the residents of Thornton who assisted in site clearance, security and storage of materials and provision of land for the storage tank site; and the St. Thomas Parish Council which will manage and maintain the new system. Excerpts from: Jamaica Social Investment Fund Press Release CAPTION: Site Supervisor of JSIF, Neville Williams turns on a pipe following the handing over ceremony for the commissioning of a water supply and booster station and tank in Thornton, St. Thomas. Sharing the moment are (L-R) JSIF Project Manager, Celia Dillon; Managing Director, Scarlette Gillings; Minister of Health, Fenton Ferguson; Minister of Water Land, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill and Second Vice President of the St. Thomas Association of Branches, Rupert Scott.

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