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IDB approves $40 million to Jamaica to improve water and sanitation in Kingston

The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of a $40 million loan to Jamaica to improve water and sanitation services in the Greater Kingston and St. Andrew Area and to modernize the management of the system.

The resources will enable the National Water Commission* to improve its customer services and information systems, adopt a more equitable rate structure, train personnel and increase private sector participation and investment in water and sanitation.

Existing water treatment plants, pumping stations, pipelines and service and storage facilities will be rehabilitated, and bulk flow meters and micrometers will be installed to better determine base flow and distinguish leakage from commercial losses.

An important goal is to reduce the levels of unaccounted for water – now up to 60 percent of the water in the system is lost through leakage or unauthorized usage – and thereby increase efficiency and reduce costs, particularly energy costs.

In addition, a plan will be prepared to expand sewage collection and treatment, and selected sewage pumping stations will be rehabilitated to avoid overflowing of the system. An action plan will be prepared to develop a wastewater treatment plant.

The project reflects the Bank strategy for Jamaica of supporting modernization of the public sector. The program will be coordinated with a parallel project supported by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, which is financing infrastructure investments in the water system in Greater Spanish Town and Southeast St. Catherine – both of which are in Kingston.

The IDB loan is for a 25-year term, with a five-year grace period, at a variable interest rate. Local counterpart funds total $14.7 million. Part of the interest will be defrayed by the Intermediate Financing Facility.

The Bank previously approved five financing operations totaling $25 million to improve water and sanitation in Jamaica. A loan of $10 million approved in 1996 supports a program for the sustainable development of water and sanitation in selected rural communities.