June 21, 2016
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and collaborating partners have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as part of the overall efforts to improve Jamaica’s ambient water quality.
The collaborating partners with NEPA are the Water Resources Authority (WRA) and the Ministry of Health – Environmental Health Unit. The MoU was signed recently (June 3) by the heads of collaborating agencies and departments at NEPA’s Open Day & Environmental Fair. The signing of the MoU was one of several activities to mark National Environmental Awareness Week.
The objectives of the MoU are to facilitate the exchange of data and information, technical expertise and services and the enforcement of governing laws in order to improve water quality management.
Herbert Thomas, Acting Managing Director of the Water Resources Authority on signing the MoU said the memorandum enables key agencies to play their role in water resource management.
Meanwhile, Michael Williams, Water and Waste Water Environmental Health Specialist at the Ministry of Health said that the MoU will improve communication between agencies and also the quality and management of water.
“This will augur well for the country in general because it will help to foster more inter-agency cooperation,” he noted.
The Memorandum of Understanding was first signed in 2002 and was reviewed for re-instatement in 2015. The following were achieved from the first MoU: the development of Ambient Freshwater Standards and Ambient Marine Standards; the establishment of a hydrological database that serves as a repository of water resources data and the creation of a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) system of all sewage treatment plants and their data.