Local Government Minister Says Fire at Riverton Will be Put Out by Sunday

Photo: Dave Reid Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott (right), along with (from left): Director-General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Major Clive Davis; Regional Operations Manager, Metropolitan Parks and Markets, Adrian Grant, and Supervisor, Riverton City Disposal Site, Larel Thomas observe the work being done to extinguish the fire at the Riverton City disposal site, during a tour of the facility on Friday, March 20.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, says it is expected that the fire at the Riverton City disposal site will be extinguished by Sunday.
  • Members of the public should continue to observe safety tips released by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management to minimize their exposure to the effects of the smoke.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, says it is expected that the fire at the Riverton City disposal site will be extinguished by Sunday.

“There will be residual smoke, but the total extinguishing of the fire that should be as early as tomorrow (Saturday) into Sunday. But, what we know is that even when you cover, there is smouldering and some amount of smoke, but it won’t impede businesses, schools or any other activity ,” Mr. Arscott said.

The Minister was speaking to the press after a tour of the Riverton City disposal site today (March 20).

Mr. Arscott also commended all the stakeholders who have been working to extinguish the fire at the landfill which has been burning since March 11.

“It is an unfortunate situation. I am deeply saddened by what has happened and from all indications, based on the report from the police, is that it points to arson. It is impossible to comprehend how fellow Jamaicans (can) cause this to be visited on the nation,” he said.

The Minister said he is confident that all the necessary resources that are needed to extinguish the fire and bring the situation under control are in place.

In addition, Mr. Arscott told the press briefing that the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has been allocated $75 million to cover the landfill.

“I am going to make a special appeal to draw down some funds from the Environmental Levy to help us on a continuous basis to be able to (maintain) the landfill until we get to the longer term of divesting the facility to the private sector,” he said.

Meanwhile, members of the public should continue to observe safety tips released by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management to minimize their exposure to the effects of the smoke.

To this end, persons should avoid undue exposure to the smoke by closing windows and doors; use a clean wet rag to cover nose and mouth to minimize the effects of the smoke; and the elderly, children and those with respiratory issues should not expose themselves to the smoke.

Persons are also being reminded that where necessary, medical assistance should be sought.

 

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