The island’s capacity to manage its water resources is to be strengthened with the signing of a US$98,000 (J$11,005,176.93) contract between Jamaica and Brazil.
Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill, who signed on Jamaica’s behalf on August 7, at the Ministry in Kingston, said that the project represented the continued commitment of the Ministry and its agencies to ensure the sustainable management of the water resources available in the country.
Pickersgill said that Brazil has a wealth of experience and expertise in the area of water resource management and is therefore quite adept at helping to execute the project, which will last for 24 months.
He highlighted the fact that the island is still in the throes of an extended drought, which has impacted the supply of water to affected areas.
“Indeed, the need to manage our water resources has become increasingly urgent. The different but related use of water by households, commercial establishments, agriculture, industries, and even for recreational activities, has put pressure on our natural water resources. This, in turn, threatens the larger environment,” he said.
Pickersgill added that he is proud of the track record of the Ministry in meeting the growing needs of the rural and urban populations.
“Our goal is to provide every Jamaican man, woman and child with clean, potable water through our piped network, as well as through other modalities such as rainwater harvesting, and so this agreement is indeed a welcomed addition to our efforts,” the Minister said.
Brazilian Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Antônio Francisco Da Costa e Silva Neto, who signed on behalf of the Brazilian Co-operation Agency, said that the decision to support a project to strengthen Jamaica’s water management capacity was made in February this year, when the Brazilian Foreign Minister, Ambassador Luiz Alberto Machado, headed a 10-man delegation to Jamaica.