Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, made the disclosure at a stakeholder meeting of the KSA NRW Programme at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on July 19.
He informed that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to facilitate the training will be signed in short order. The signatories include the NWC, HEART Trust/NTA, and Miya, an international water efficiency entity headquartered in Israel.
HEART trainees will also benefit from instruction in areas such as construction supervision.
The KSA NRW Programme is a US$42.5-million initiative being undertaken in conjunction with Miya to reduce water loss due to leaks, theft or metering inaccuracies. It is funded by a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and is expected to be completed within roughly five years.
A number of activities are being undertaken to reduce non-revenue water from 65 per cent to 30 per cent over the next three years.
These include the replacement of aged pipelines, replacement and installation of new meters, management and control of pressure of pipes, replacement of all service connections, among other activities.
Minister Chang informed that communities outside of the KSA area will benefit from other water improvement programmes, for example Black River in St. Elizabeth.
“We’ve indicated that we’re changing the mains in Black River, which is a small area relative to the Corporate Area but they have a big main. We’re going to change that main. It is a much smaller project,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the NWC, Senator Aubyn Hill, said the NRW intervention is expected to transform many aspects of the NWC’s operations in the Corporate Area and contribute even more meaningfully to economic growth and development.
“It is expected to make more water available for productive and paid use, to provide a more reliable and consistent service, as well as to enhance the resilience of our water systems against droughts and other climate change effects,” he pointed out.
The programme, he noted will provide an improved and more resilient water supply system that meets the needs of the NWC’s valued customers in KSA.
For his part, Project Director of Miya, Paul Fanner, gave a commitment to meet all the targets under the programme.
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