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The Ministry of Finance has identified $1.35 billion to be spent on a flood damage repair programme between January and March next year.
Speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House yesterday (December 12), Minister of Information, Senator Burchell Whiteman explained that the amount would be spent on priority areas, including rehabilitation works carried over from Hurricane Ivan.
“The priorities begin with paying the debts to those contractors who had cleared roads in the last period of flooding and even prior to that, and then going through to ensure that there was access along the main corridors, that bridge works and critical structures were dealt with. Then leaving rehabilitation for the end, because that of course is most demanding in terms of resources and also in a sense, the one for which most preparation is required,” he outlined.
Senator Whiteman also explained that the details of the programme would be worked out by January and that a proposal of that programme had already been submitted, but would be revised to meet the available funds.
He informed that all the relevant Ministries and agencies were involved in the programme. “The Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Transport and Works and of course the National Works Agency and the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) are all involved,” the Minister noted.
Mr. Whiteman further explained that while repair to parish council roads would come from the $1.3 billion, this would be a small percentage as there was already some $1.25 billion being spent to carry out road repair works on parish council roads as well as main and farm roads.
Additionally, he noted that some $60 million had been approved to carry out Christmas clean-up works throughout the 60 constituencies. This approval was granted last week.