After decades of distress and water woes, residents of Port Royal in Kingston are to benefit from the installation of a transmission main replacement. The $443 million dollar project will ensure a more reliable water supply in the community.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness broke ground for the historic project on Friday (July 28, 2023). Prime Minister Holness said the project represents a crucial step in fulfilling the government’s commitment to providing reliable potable water to communities across the nation. He noted the progress of Jamaica’s infrastructural development and water resilience efforts.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the lack of reliable water supply was deeply concerning the residents. He reassured the residents of Port Royal that the promise of delivering reliable potable water was being fulfilled.
Highlighting the historical significance of the groundbreaking, the Prime Minister emphasized the broader implications of this project. “This has become such a regular occurrence that the NWC is replacing or installing new pipes right across Jamaica.” He also underlined the government’s determination to prioritize infrastructure development, affirming, “I come to this office well seized of the importance of building out infrastructure. If we do not build infrastructure, we won’t be able to properly provide the housing, the industrial and commercial development that we all want.”
Addressing the financial aspect of such projects, the Prime Minister called attention to the shift in funding strategies, saying, “We are able today to finance infrastructure development from our budget… Previously, we used to spend upwards of 60% of every dollar that we earn to repay debt. We are spending just about 30% of every dollar we earn to repay it. Isn’t that a profound and fundamental change in our country?”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister turned his focus to the ongoing drought season where he urged citizens to be cautious and conservative in their water usage, stating, “We are still in a drought… I must ask you, even though you’re going to get a more reliable water supply, that you use it conservatively, meaning that you put in place the measures to ensure that there is no wastage and you use only what you need.”
Prime Minister Holness also underscored the government’s efforts to build water resilience across the nation. He said, “The government has started the distribution of water tanks right across the island… We will be distributing in the next five years 50,000 water tanks… We live in a world where we have to take eventualities seriously… we have to be resilient.” He also emphasized that the distribution of these water tanks was part of a well-thought-out strategy to address future water scarcity effectively.
In concluding his presentation, the Prime Minister expressed his vision for the future of Port Royal and Jamaica as a whole, saying, “Port Royal can develop its own economy to bring prosperity to its people, but we have to start thinking in the change mode, we have to start to see the transformation and stop listening to negatives, start thinking positively.”
He encouraged the people to embrace the positive changes happening in the country and prepare for a brighter future. He said, “My job is to point it out to you and to bring you along and to help you understand that the change is coming… This installation of the water main to Port Royal is one of them, and I’m certain that the people of Port Royal are thankful that this is finally going to be done.”
The groundbreaking for the Port Royal Transmission Main Replacement Project marks a historic moment for Port Royal as well as serves as a testament to the government’s commitment to infrastructure development and water resilience.