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St Mary Residents Get Piped Water

ST MARY, Jamaica – After 10 years, the $60-million Mile Gully/Warwick Castle water supply system is now complete and some 1,200 St Mary residents now have water flowing from taps in their homes.

The system was commissioned into service on Thursday by Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Robert Pickersgill.

The work was spearheaded by the Ministry’s agency, Rural Water Supply Limited, and involved the installation of two pumping stations, eight 2,750 gallon storage tanks, pipelines, and nine solar panels to power the operations. The system will be managed and operated by the National Water Commission (NWC).

In his address, Minister Pickersgill acknowledged that the system is “long overdue”, but welcomed its completion, contending that it is “better late, than never”.

The Minister also welcomed the installation of the nine solar panels, which will reduce the cost of pumping water to NWC customers. He said it costs the NWC some $500 million per month to pump the commodity. The Mile Gully/Warwick Castle water system was carried out under the Government of Jamaica’s (GoJ) US$9.5-million Rural Water Programme, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) under its Technical Cooperation Programme.

The system is one of five developed under an initial pilot phase to provide adequate water and sanitary provisions and conveniences in rural communities not having these. Similar developments have been undertaken at: Cotterwood, St Elizabeth; White Horses/Botany Bay, St Thomas; Gravel Hill, Clarendon; and Giblatore, St Catherine.