JIS News

The Local Government Task Force has found that fallen trees and land slippages caused extensive damage to roads throughout the island during the recent hurricane.
“There is a need for retaining structures because some of the roads are in danger of collapsing,” Technical Director in the Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Patrick Wong, told JIS News recently.
He said the parish councils have done excellent work in removing the fallen trees and they have collaborated with the National Works Agency (NWA) in clearing roads to facilitate vehicular traffic.
Mr. Wong informed further, that based on assessments carried out, it was found that there was damage to minor waterlines and estimates of the cost to repair the damage were being done.
A report is also being prepared for submission to the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund for possible funding to repair roofs at infirmaries in Westmoreland, St. Ann, Portland, Manchester, St. Elizabeth and St. Thomas.
Roof damage was also the main problem at the markets especially the Savanna-la-mar, St. Ann’s Bay, Black River, Mandeville and Spanish Town markets and the Ministry hopes to receive funding from the Office of National Reconstruction (ONR) for repairs.
Turning to the state of fire stations, Mr. Wong said the buildings experienced significant roof damage, while the Port Maria, Black River and Junction stations suffered from flooding. The Task Force is in the process of assessing the drainage problem at these facilities to mitigate against future flooding.
The Women’s Centre in Mandeville also suffered roof damage and the Social Development Commission Office in St. Thomas lost its roof. A full report will go to Cabinet for inclusion in any funding that will be made available for the reconstruction effort, Mr. Wong told JIS News.
The Local Government Task Force is comprised of technical staff from the Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Sport and its agencies, and the Association of Local Government Authorities and was created to ensure that the Ministry became the operational mechanism to facilitate the implementation and monitoring of the relief effort in parishes and communities islandwide.
The Task Force is hoping to establish a command post at one of the fire stations in the Corporate Area to be manned by the Fire Brigade and the Ministry staff.

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