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JIS News

The involvement of citizens in collaboration with local authorities in times of disaster play a significant role in disaster management and more effective relief efforts.
Mayor of Portmore, Councillor George Lee expressed this view in an interview with JIS News. The Mayor said a community’s involvement in disaster preparedness and alleviation exercises was critical and makes the job of Local Government much easier, and more effective in delivering relief to affected persons.
To this end, the Portmore municipality has an active Citizens Advisory Council, the PCAC, which consists of Councillors as well as citizens from all communities in the Portmore area.
Communities should endeavour to help themselves Mayor Lee said, because more than 50 per cent of the problems observed especially as it related to clogged drains and waterways, were created by the citizens. “I went to a drain in Waterford recently and there were beds and all sort of things in it and these are the things that contribute to the blocking and overflowing of drains and the subsequent flooding of people’s homes and property or to increasing the likelihood of this occurring,” he noted.
One of the first steps toward effective participation on the part of the citizenry in the diverse communities served by the various local authorities is the proper disposal of household and commercial waste.
Household garbage should be properly bagged and disposed, with bottles separated from paper and food peelings. Large items such as furniture should be dismantled and bundled for easy disposal. Commercial waste such as boxes should be dismantled, and chemicals should be placed separately and labelled, and paper shredded. It is also advised that plastic bottles and bags should also be properly bagged for disposal as these in particular pose a serious threat to the environment and to marine life.