The 66 emergency shelters in Manchester are ready to accommodate up to 1,500 residents under the coronavirus (COVID) protocols should the need arise during this hurricane season.
Acting Parish Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, Keval Lewis, made the disclosure to JIS News, during a tour of some of the proposed emergency shelters on Friday (June 18) by a team led by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie.
The team visited Porus High School, which can accommodate 90 persons; Mile Gully High, 60 persons; Plowden Primary, 25 persons; Christiana High, 110 persons and Christiana Leased Primary, 60 persons. They also stopped at the New Forest Primary School.
“The ODPEM will provide sanitisation products for the shelters as well as additional masks, should they be needed,” Mr. Lewis told JIS News, noting that all shelters must meet the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ approval.
He noted that the accommodation numbers are in keeping with the COVID-19 social distancing protocols, which require six feet of space between persons.
Minister McKenzie commended the Manchester disaster preparedness team for ensuring that the facilities are in a state of readiness.
“We are now heading into the hurricane season and we are making sure the shelters are in a state of readiness. All of the ones we have visited so far are 100 per cent ready and in working condition and I commend the team in Manchester for a job well done,” he noted.
Minister McKenzie also stopped at a proposed site in Plowden where a water shops is to be constructed.
The Minister said there are plans to add three more water shops to address water challenges in that section of the parish.
“We are going to see whether we can resuscitate the water catchment facility in Plowden Hill and I am expecting a report from the technical team in two weeks as to how to address this chronic water problem being experienced by the people in that section of Manchester,” he said.
“We are providing in this year’s Budget, a significant portion of funding for the construction of new water shops and rural water,” he added.