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Water and Sanitation – Activities

Project to Promote Environmentally Sound Water and Wastewater Provision at the Community Level in Jamaica

Jamaica Project 1 Water and sanitation provision has been identified as key environmental and social priorities in Caribbean countries, including Jamaica. Rural communities, especially those in ecologically sensitive areas, have not gained adequate access to water and sanitation services. Access to water and sanitation for rural Jamaicans remains at 71% and 69% respectively, while that for the rural population in the Latin American and Caribbean Region are 73% and 49% respectively (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring programme, 2004). Climate change impacts are also expected to adversely affect access to water and sanitation, and impact the suitability of various technical options that are currently used for water and sanitation provision. There is thus a critical need to identify and implement small-scale, decentralized water and sanitation systems that are environmentally sound and manageable by communities, based on accurate, up-to-date analysis.

UNEP DTIE IETC in collaboration with The Caribbean Regional Coordinating Unit for the Caribbean Environment Programme (UNEP CAR RCU) initiated a project in 2007 to address the need for improving access to water and wastewater provision in rural communities in environmentally vulnerable areas in Jamaica. The project sought to analyze local conditions of water and wastewater provision in a number of ecologically sensitive areas in Jamaica, and to identify potential provision options that are environmentally sound and manageable by communities. Results of survey and lessons of pilot implementation generated data required for larger-scale interventions in Jamaica, as well as other small island states.


  1. To analyze local conditions of water and wastewater provision in a number of ecologically sensitive rural areas in Jamaica, and
  2. To identify potential provision options that are environmentally sound.


  1. Kick-off meetings (25-27 July 2007)

    Project kick-off meetings were held to discuss the project activities and their implementation with local partners – Ministry of Water and Housing and Rural Water Supply Ltd (RWSL). It was agreed to conduct a pilot project for improving access to drinking water and sanitation practices in Breadnut Walk community/Ginger Hill and to conduct surveys to identify EST options in three to four rural communities in Saint Elizabeth Parish. A site visit was made to Breadnut Walk Community. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was concluded between UNEP and RWSL in October 2007 to carry-out pilot project in Breadnut Walk Community and the surveys to identify ESTs.

  2. Jamaica Project 2
  3. Pilot-scale implementation of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) in Breadnut Walk Community / Ginger Hill

    Various potential interventions, including improvements in rainwater harvesting and disinfection, have been identified to improve water provision at the community. This is followed by selection of ESTs and their pilot-scale implementation for demonstration. As part of the implementation activities water supply system was extended from the neighboring community to Breadnut Walk using local labour for construction.

  4. Surveys for identification of ESTs for Water and Wastewater Provision in rural communities

    The survey collects and analyzes information on project areas necessary for implementation of water and wastewater provision including parish-wide overview and detailed analysis of three to four rural communities in Saint Elizabeth. Potential ESTs were identified in collaboration with the communities. This survey is expected to generate some key data necessary for larger project funding. Preliminary analysis of 43 rural comunities in Saint Elizabeth Parish, which were either lacking in water and wastewater provision were analyzed and three communities namely, Aberdeen, Trenail and Schoolfield were selected for detailed analysis.

  5. Jamaica Project 3
  6. Regional workshop to promote environmentally sound water and wastewater provision at the community level in the Caribbean (28-29 November 2007, Kingston, Jamaica)

    A regional workshop was held in November 2007 to assess the progress of activities supported by UNEP in water and wastewater provision, share lessons learned and to build partnership for greater cooperation. The workshop was organized in partnership with UNEP CAR RCU.