8th October 2015
In Kingston, Jamaica, on Wednesday 7th October 2015, the official contract signing for work to replace and upgrade the Boscobel and Elletson Flats Sewerage Treatment Plants in Jamaica,took place between the National Water Commission (NWC), the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, and the selected contractor, Vinci Construction Grands Projects.
Speaking at the signing, the Minister of Water, Land, Environment & Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, pointed out that “Increasing access to safe, potable water seems to be a fairly simple process in that, given the proper funding, you find a source, set up a treatment plant and pumping station and run distribution pipes. However, in selecting wastewater treatment/sanitation technology you have to first assess the costs of building the facility and for operations and maintenance, as well as its appropriateness for a specific setting.”
The Minister went on to point out that most of the projects undertaken in Jamaica are done with some form of outside assistance, hence the importance of the Global Environment Facility-funded Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (GEF CReW).
GEF CReW is a regional project which was launched in 2011. One of its objectives is to pilot financing mechanisms that afford sustainable financing for environmentally sound and cost-effective wastewater management in the Wider Caribbean Region. It is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and jointly implemented by the Inter-American Development Bank(IDB) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The GEF CReW Project has provided the National Water Commission (NWC) with collateral resources that enabled the National Water Commission (NWC) to borrow the equivalent of US$12million from the National Commercial Bank (NCB), to finance wastewater management projects through the Jamaica Credit Enhancement Facility (JCEF).
This signing set in motion the first wastewater projects to benefit from establishment of the JCEF.
The Boscobel Wastewater Treatment Plant, located in Western St. Mary, was originally designed to treat the wastewater generated from forty housing units in the Boscobel Housing Scheme and was capable of handling some 50 cubic meters per day of wastewater.However, the housing scheme has grown to include over 200 housing units and the system now receives sewage flows estimated to be in excess of 140 cubic meters per day. As a result sewage overflow and discharge into gullies eventually ends up in the sea due tooverloading of the present system.
Under this contract, the Commission will replace the Boscobel facility with a new wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of 600 cubic meters per day, to be constructed on land adjacent to the existing wastewater treatment facility. Additionally, provision will also be made for the expansion of this plant by an additional 600 cubic meters per day in Phase two of the project in the future. The expanded system will have the capacity to treat current sewage flows as well as the sewage from other new housing schemes.
The Elletson Flats Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is connected to Elletson Flats Housing scheme in North Eastern St. Andrew, needs significant rehabilitation as it is seriously under-performing. A new wastewater treatment plant with similar capacity will be constructed at the same location, incorporating existing structures into the new treatment plant, as far as possible.
Benefits of the projects include: a reduction in contamination of groundwater and to meet the effluent standards as stipulated by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA); reduced risk to public health, and; the provision of improved service levels and greater customer satisfaction to the citizens of Elletson Flats and Boscobel.
The contract for both treatment plants is valued at approximately US$4.2million.The works on both treatment plants include the design, construction, supply, delivery, offloading, erection, site installation, testing and commissioning of the projects. The contractor, Vinci Construction Grands Projets, will be responsible for the demolition and disposal of structures no longer required; dissembling and decommissioning of the facilities that are to be retired. Guidelines have been stipulated by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). Once the projects are completed and the plants commissioned into service, the contractor will be required to operate the new facilities for up to 24 months.
Also present at the signing were the Members of Parliament (MPs) for the parishes in which the treatment plants are located, representatives of the regulators – the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), and representatives of the IDB and the GEF CReW Project Coordinating Unit.
The MP for Western St. Mary, Mr. JoylanSilvera, commended the initiative saying that the Boscobel WWTP construction is important for the area especially as more hotel rooms are being planned and the project will help to protect coastal waters.
Noting that one can smell the wastewater treatment plant at Elletson Flats before you see it, MP for Eastern St. Andrew, Mr. Andre Hylton, said that the rebuild of the plant is a gift to the people of the area and could even rejuvenate the community by encouraging further investment and employment.
Minister Pickersgill also stressedthe need to recognize the potential of wastewater as a resource – to realize its value as a source of nutrients and energy as well as treated wastewater reuse for many applications, thereby alleviating the shortages currently being experienced throughout the region as a result of the prolonged drought. This view was echoed by several other speakers as they commended the NWC, the Ministry and the regulators - the OUR and NEPA, on this initiative which addresses the issue of wastewater management with the seriousness it deserves.
Information on the GEF CReW Project may be found at: www.gefcrew.org and on the Project’s Facebook page: GEF CReW Project
For more information contact:
Donna Sue Spencer
Global Environment Facility-funded Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (GEF CReW) Project Coordination Group
Inter-American Development Bank
44 - 46 Knutsford Boulevard
Tel. (876) - 764 - 0815