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$795 m allocated to provide water in more rural communities

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THE Government has allocated $795 million in the 2019/20 fiscal year to provide water in more rural communities.

In his 2019/20 Budget Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the figure “is seven times higher than the previous allocation”.

“Depending on how our revenue targets look, we could very well consider an addition to rural water as the people deserve it. When I go around rural Jamaica and see what they go through, they deserve it,” the prime minister added.

Among the parishes that will have their water supplies addressed under the initiative are St Mary, St Andrew, Portland, St Catherine, Trelawny, Clarendon, Manchester, St Elizabeth, Hanover, St James and St Ann.

Additionally, Holness said the project will benefit the rainwater harvesting in schools initiative.

Last year, Rural Water Supply Limited completed projects at Charlton Primary and Fort George Primary Schools in St Ann; Knockalva Agriculture School in Hanover, and Garlogie Primary School in Manchester.

Additional school projects completed by the company included Rock Primary; Ashley Primary and Mt Airy Primary Schools in Clarendon, and Wait-a-Bit Primary and Lowe River Primary Schools in Trelawny.

Holness noted that the 2019/20 fiscal year will see more schools being equipped with rainwater harvesting systems.

He said in that regard a comprehensive survey will be undertaken for all rural schools that “currently have little or no potable water supply, with the view to install rainwater harvesting systems”.

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