The Government will be spending $30 million in the community of Douglas Castle, St. Ann to undertake significant road improvement works.
Speaking at the launch of the national hurricane preparedness campaign at Jamaica House on June 8, Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie said the money will be spent on raising a section of the Douglas Castle road by approximately 15 metres and the construction of box culverts.
“I am told by the technical people that once we do that, it will help to preserve the crops and the livestock and to keep the community physically connected to the rest of the country,” he said.
Mr. McKenzie said the decision was taken following consultations with representatives from his Ministry, the St. Ann Municipal Corporation, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the National Works Agency (NWA).
“Once we get the go ahead, we will commence the work as soon as possible to try to put something in place that will give the residents… some semblance of hope before we get deeper into the Hurricane season,” he said.
Minister McKenzie noted that the work forms part of the Government’s mitigation strategy for communities that have been severely impacted by heavy rainfall and flooding.
“Over the recent weeks, whenever it rains, Douglas Castle sends up a red flag because the people in that community are worried about their safety. One of the things that make Douglas Castle vulnerable is… that there are close to 25 to 30 sink holes that makes flooding easy,” he said.
Residents of the rural community which is located near the St. Ann/Clarendon border were impacted by extensive flooding in 2017. They lost livestock, crops, and household items as a result of the heavy rains.