Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Matthew Samuda, officially commissioned Phase 1 of the Greater Portmore Ponds Wastewater Treatment Plant (GPP WWTP) in St. Catherine yesterday (September 29), which received improvement works totalling $935 million.
Approximately 79,076 residents from Greater Portmore, Braeton, Braeton Newtown,
Cedar Grove, Christian Pen, Portmore Pines and West Cumberland will benefit from the completed renovations.
“The reality is that the investment was long in coming, and we are very proud of the
$935 million that the Government has put to protect the environment of Greater
Portmore to ensure that it is right for development and jobs can come to the area,”
Minister Samuda said.
The GPP WWTP is owned and operated by the National Water Commission (NWC) and occupies just over 689,000 square metres (approx. 170 acres) in the Northwestern
section of Greater Portmore.
The Minister who has responsibility for water said environmentalists shy away from the discourse surrounding sewage management, but it is known to be one of the “single largest environmental issues that we face”.
“I made the point that it is the Government’s intention to ensure that Portmore – Greater Portmore, and all the varying areas are seen as a centre of excellence for water management. Water management is not just the distribution of potable water, it is the management of wastewater and sewage,” Minister Samuda noted.
Also in attendance were Member of Parliament for St. Catherine Southern, Fitz
Jackson; Vice President of Operations, Kevin Kerr; Senior Project Manager of NWC,
Kieran Cadogan; and senior representatives from the NWC and MEGJC.
Minister Samuda said while the system is not perfect and there is some amount of
“catching up” to do, “the Government is aligning its fiscal affairs to ensure it has the
space to honour the requests, which are reasonable, from MP Jackson and indeed his
constituents to keep pace with the development that is happening around us”.
However, he added that some level of public education needs to happen so that citizens can learn and practice better waste management and disposal.
“This needs to happen with us reaching persons from a house-to-house basis and even through town halls to let people understand what this investment is and what it means for them,” Minister Samuda ended.
The construction of Phase 1 of the GPP WWTP Rehabilitation Project involved
upgrading the pumping station, rehabilitation of the ponds, construction of new reed
beds, and other auxiliary civil works of stated contract specifications and conditions.
The works were done under Phase 1 of the project, aligning with the GOJ’s Vision 2030 and NWC’s initiative to improve its public image and corporate responsibility and expand its sewerage network services.