Minister With Responsibility For Water, Daryl Vaz has announced that cabinet has agreed to devote $308 million to drought relief efforts.
Vaz listed four main steps in the allocation process. These include $63 million being given to each member of parliament to provide tanks and trucking of water and $70 million given to Rural Water Supply Limited to provide wayside tanks and loading bays across the island. The National Water Commission (NWC) will also be given $100 million to truck water across the island and The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development will be allocated $75 million to provide additional water shops and for the trucking of water.
Vaz noted that these drought counteraction strategies by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC) will also help in the fight against the coronavirus.
As indicated, an amount of $70 million will be provided to the Rural Water Supply Limited, through the MEGJC, to facilitate the installation of approximately 130 wayside tanks and the construction of approximately 39 loading bays,” he said.
A total of 130 wayside tanks will be installed throughout the island, 10 in each of the 13 rural parishes. This will come at a total cost of $59 million. Thirty-nine loading bays will be installed, which is approximately three in each parish. Installation cost in the 13 rural parishes is $10.8 million.
Only last month, small farmers in Glengoffe, St. Catherine made complaints of hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses due to persistent drought conditions.
Figures ranged from $150,000 to $160,000 among mix-vegetable farmers, whose only mode of survival is through cultivation.