Preliminary estimates indicate that it will cost the Government just over $11. 7 billion to repair damage across a number of sectors, wreaked by the devastating rains associated with Tropical Storm Nicole.
The lion’s share of the cost is for the restoration of the road network, including drainage systems, river protection and infrastructure works, which will require $10.6 billion.
In a statement to the House of Representatives on Tuesday (Oct. 5) Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, said that approximately $1.7 billion is required to effect clearance and immediate works to roads that are blocked or have collapsed, as well as structures that pose a danger.
Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding listens to questions being asked by the Opposition in the House of Representatives on October 5, following his presentation on the damage to the island by recent rains associated with Tropical Storm Nicole.
Turning to other sectors, he said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ estimate for damaged farm roads is $500 million, with crop and livestock loss also at $500 million.
Damage to schools is estimated at $100 million, and it will cost another $98.5 million to restore health facilities.
Mr. Golding said that while tourist arrivals for the period were not negatively impacted, an estimated US$ 1million worth of damage was done to beaches and buildings in Negril, Westmoreland.
Meanwhile, some 211 communities across the island were affected, with several of these still surrounded by water, while others have been marooned due to issues with road access.
The Prime Minister informed that welfare and relief operations to affected and marooned communities have “proceeded in earnest” with food packages airlifted to communities in St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Elizabeth, and Westmoreland.
“Boats were dispatched to transport food and evacuate persons in communities marooned by flood waters in the Pedro River Community in St. Ann and the Chigwell/Forest areas of Hanover. Welfare assessments are on-going and relief operations will continue,” Mr. Golding said.
The Prime Minister assured that critical response agencies such as the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), National Works Agency (NWA), National Water Commission (NWC), Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), local authorities, security forces, and the fire and health services, have been working tirelessly to restore and maintain vital services.
“I commend the work of the dedicated men and women in all these agencies. The voluntary agencies have also been active in providing relief to those in distress. We extend to them our profound appreciation,” he said.