Environment

Water expert makes conservation call

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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On the occasion of World Oceans Day last Friday, water expert Dr Kwame Emmanuel reinforced the importance of the country's water resources and urged Jamaicans to take better care of rivers, streams, underground aquifers, and the sea, while also conserving that which comes from the pipe.

“The damage we do to the environment will impact us negatively in the medium- to long-term, whether it is the pollution of our oceans or fuelling climate change through greenhouse gas emissions,” he stated.

Emmanuel is project manager of JN Bank's Water Project, which is being implemented by JN Foundation.

“The Water Project is enabling Jamaican householders to be more actively involved in water adaptation practices, including conservation habits and installing water efficient devices within their households,” he noted.

It is also seeking to bring attention to the fact untreated wastewater from domestic sources often has contaminants such as microplastics which negatively impacts water quality and marine resources, including coral reefs.

Dr Emmanuel said that the Water Project will help reduce this impact by facilitating efficient water use and wastewater recycling.

Onyka Barrett-Scott, acting general manager of JN Foundation, underscored the importance of preserving the environment, noting that this is one of the key areas in which the foundation works.

“The JN Foundation implements projects to improve environmental sustainability and, through the Water Project, we address water management issues related to climate change, which in real terms will affect our already limited water supplies. Under the Water Project, the JN Foundation is therefore educating householders about individual actions they can take to preserve their environment and water supply,” she said.

World Oceans Day was observed under the action themes, 'Preventing Plastic Pollution' and 'Encouraging a Healthy Ocean'. Its coordinator, the Ocean Project, has encouraged people to help to protect the ocean for future generations by changing their perspective.

“Individual persons should think about what the ocean means to them and what it has to offer all of us, with hopes of conserving it for present and future generations,” it said on its website.

“By taking care of your backyard and helping in your community, you are acting as a caretaker of our ocean. Making small modifications to your everyday habits will create a difference, and if you involve your family, friends, and community members, their efforts will benefit our blue planet even more,” the website also said.

JN's Water Project is the result of two cooperative agreements signed by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Jamaica National Group in March 2017. They provide JN Bank and the JN Foundation with funding to execute the four-year project.

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