KINGSTON, Jamaica — Fifteen persons, comprising engineers, developers, students and water experts, graduated from a 16-week rainwater harvesting and grey-water recycling training programme, recently.
The training programme was organised by the Jamaica National (JN) Foundation in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), through the Water Project Jamaica.
General Manager of the JN Foundation, Onyka Barrett Scott, said the graduates were ahead of the curve, given that they were the first batch to be trained in rainwater harvesting and grey-water recycling.
“Today, we are proud to be recognising graduates, who are armed with knowledge about rainwater harvesting and grey-water recycling; therefore, we are confident that they will effectively implement what they learned,” she said.
The general manager explained that the aim of the initiative is to build local capacity in the design and installation of a variety of water efficient measures in the housing sector.
She said participants were exposed to the components of rainwater harvesting systems, water saving devices, which can be implemented by homeowners, to save water, factors which affect water quality, and water standards.
Barrett Scott noted that, in the case of Jamaica, drought and the shifting patterns of rainfall are already creating serious challenges, which negatively impact the country’s water supply and distribution system.
She further explained that the problem of inconsistent water supply has a devastating effect on families, institutions and communities and affect the business models of housing developers and construction companies, as was experienced this past summer.
In addition, she said the limited financing and an uncertain business case for water adaptation are barriers to the uptake of water efficient measures by the housing development sector.
“The Water Project Jamaica, therefore, aims to tackle these issues through the provision of an impactful, scalable model which will enhance Jamaica’s climate resilience,” she posited.
Minister in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Pearnel Charles, commended the JN Foundation and its partners for the training and encouraged the graduates to implement what they learned.
“I’m challenging you, so that, it does not become another line on your resume,” he said.
The minister also underscored the importance for the country to have strong water policy guidelines and gave his commitment to move the plan from draft stage to legislative format saying, “We have to press on the gas to have it completed”.