"Government's Bad Planning Making Drought More Severe" - Dr. Chang
Opposition Spokesman on Water, Housing & Infrastructure Development, Dr. Horace Chang, is charging that the severity of the drought conditions being experienced by Jamaicans this year, is a direct result of the Government's failure to prioritize investments in the right water production systems.
Dr. Chang's assertion comes in the wake of a statement during Wednesday's sitting of Parliament by Water, Land and Environment Minister, Robert Pickersgill.
Dr. Chang said: "We are seeing another example of misplaced priorities on the part of the Government, because instead of investing in larger and more reliable water systems, the Government is prioritizing and has become overly dependent on smaller systems. These smaller systems are not reliable, and will not effectively counter the effects of the drought as they run out of water quickly."
He continued: "The Government has slashed the Capital Budget related to water production from $10 Billion to $6 Billion and this is having a severe impact on the sector. The public should know that funding for adequate investments in large water systems were already secured through multilateral financing by the former administration, but have not been used by the present Government, and as such, the country does not have the larger and more reliable sources of water supply that it should."
In closing the Opposition Spokesman said "While it is important that members of the public conserve their use of water, it is also incumbent on the Government to make the impact of current and future drought conditions less severe, by accelerating the capacity-building programme and making the requisite investments in the large water production systems".