Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has assured that measures are in place to properly process Haitian refugees who land in the island.
A total of 62 Haitians arrived in Manchioneal and Fairy Hill, in Portland, in boats, on March 23, and were processed by the police, before being taken to the Seventh Day Adventist Church and Salvation Army compound in Port Antonio for shelter.
The arrival of Haitian refugees had been widely expected since the January 12 earthquake ,which devastated Port Au Prince and other areas in Haiti.
Speaking to JIS News during a tour of infrastructural work sites in Western Portland on March 23, Mr. Vaz said following the earthquake, the country had put measures in place to accommodate Haitians who might be arriving in the country in the wake of the disaster.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz (centre ), in discussion with Parish Manager for the National Works Agency in Portland, Mr. Damian Townsend (right), during a tour of Western St. Thomas on March 23, to view infrastructural works in progress in the area.
He also pointed out that the Portland Health Department had assisted with the processing of the Haitians.
Commenting on his tour, Mr. Vaz said the purpose was to get a first hand look at the projects being carried out in the communities, including Woodstock Housing Scheme, in Buff Bay; sections of Buff Bay Valley/Forty Acres, the Mount Pleasant/Rock Hall infrastructural works, including the patching of roadways and the construction of drains.
Mr. Vaz , who was accompanied by officers of the Port Antonio Office of the National Works Agency, took the opportunity to examine infrastructural damage at the Charles Town and Tranquility Primary Schools, and viewed the condition of a section of the Rock Hall main road, which needs to be repaired.
The Minister said he was pleased with the quality of the work carried out, and commended the residents for the support they have given to the effort to develop the infrastructure of the areas.