JIS News

A flood mitigation seminar was held recently in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth, by the National Irrigation Commission (NIC), in collaboration with the Water Resources Authority (WRA).
Stakeholders from the agricultural sector, fishermen, and representatives from the commercial community attended the seminar, with presenters updating them on flood prone areas that would receive priority attention, and the measures they could take to prevent flooding.
Acting Project Director with the NIC, Milton Henry, told the audience that communities in the Upper Morass, such as Newton, Siloah, Maggotty, Appleton, and Balaclava, must ensure that the drains are cleaned.
“The characteristic features of many inland and coastal wetland systems include dense vegetation, fallen trees, topography, and the complexity of stream channel systems. Currently, we do extensive work once a year to free the drainage systems in the areas. But a maintenance cycle of two to three times per year needs to be established, with improved co-ordination with other agencies, and an increase in the fees that we charge for the services that we provide,” he said.
In his address, State Minister for Agriculture, J.C. Hutchinson, encouraged the participants to make use of the information given by the presenters.
“I urge you all to do what you can to prevent flooding in the Lower Morass, because activities in the Upper Morass have an impact on flooding. Consequences include danger to lives, property, and destruction of the eco system. We must, as responsible law abiding citizens, ensure that we do not aggravate an already fragile situation,” the State Minister said.