JIS News

Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, has said that the government has made $9 million available to re-start construction work on the Great Bay Canal, which is located in the Treasure Beach area of St. Elizabeth.
Minister Henry, who recently toured the project, said that instructions have been given to the National Works Agency for work to commence in the shortest possible time.
He explained that the allotment “forms part of the October flood rains allocation and so that means that we can start almost immediately. Let me state that I intend to do a serious review of this project given the concerns I have heard expressed by the residents, with a view to finding the best possible long-term solution.”
In the meantime, Minister Henry indicated that for the new budget year, which begins in April of 2008, a submission would be made for further funds to complete the canal system. “You the residents have my assurance that it will be looked at,” he said.
The canal, on which construction started in 2006, is designed to take excess storm water flows from land to sea.
In the event of a storm surge, the surrounding land will become inundated but the drain will facilitate subsequent run off back to the sea. Without the drain, excessive storm surge would leave areas flooded with no outflow capacity to return flood waters to the sea.
Minister of Agriculture and Member of Parliament for South West St. Elizabeth, Dr. Christopher Tufton, who was also on the tour, appealed to the residents for patience as the government works to correct the situation.
“Now that the Minister has seen the situation, I am sure that the necessary steps will be implemented to bring about closure to this project, which began in April of 2006 .not just for the benefit of those who reside here but also in light of the possible environmental impact if left unfinished,” he said.

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