JM | Mar 3, 2023

Gov’t set to provide municipal corporations with trucks to assist drought-stricken areas

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Jamaica’s most vulnerable communities to drought conditions are set to receive assistance with their water supply in the upcoming fiscal year, according to Desmond McKenzie, minister of local government and rural development.

“We are providing trucks for all municipalities. At least seven municipalities, so far, have been provided with brand-new trucks, coming from allocations that we had made in the last financial year from funding that we had, and new trucks will be provided for those municipal corporations that have not yet received trucks,” the minister said.

During Wednesday’s (March 2) sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, McKenzie said the Government will continue to provide funding for the trucking of water, noting that approximately $35 million remains from the $150 million budgeted in the 2022-2023 financial year.

Desmond McKenzie, minister of local government and rural development.

“We have about $35 million, and we have requests for about another $25 million out of that, which will be paid out by Monday (March 6), the latest,” he said.

The local government minister said the ministry will continue to collaborate with the relevant stakeholders to implement the necessary measures to alleviate prevailing drought conditions across the island.

“We do look at the areas that are affected by drought conditions and we do make allocations to those areas and most of the requests that we are getting are from areas which actually fall within the areas prone to the drought conditions at this time,” he said.

In the meantime, McKenzie informed that a survey is being conducted by Rural Water Supply Limited to examine the feasibility of expanding the water supply across four parishes.

“I think we have identified four parishes that they’ve gone in to do a survey to find out where there are streams and rivers. A part of their mandate… for the new financial year, is to find these areas and to see how we can get water into communities using the rivers,” he said.

Additionally, he said more water shops will be constructed to increase access to the commodity in several communities across the island.


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