JIS News

State Minister in the Ministry of Housing, Transport, Water and Works, Richard Azan, has said that flood mitigation work in the Nightingale Grove community near Old Harbour in St. Catherine, would begin immediately using technical personnel within the Ministry.
This, the State Minister said, would result in significant savings in the cost of the project. The Nightingale Grove area is prone to flooding whenever there is heavy rainfall, and is even more vulnerable during the current hurricane season.
Speaking with JIS News following a tour of the community on August 25, Mr. Azan said there was a lot of work to be done in the first phase of the project, which would be restricted to mitigation. “This is especially important, in light of the fact that the hurricane season is not yet over and the heavy flow of water is still possible,” he said.
“There is no guarantee that the flooding will stop completely, but we are going to do what we can, based on the findings of a survey carried out by the National Works Agency,” the State Minister added.
The work to be carried out will include clearing the Coburn River bed of debris, widening some of the corners in the river course, and river training.”Most of the work will be done by heavy equipment in the first phase. After that we will be employing some people from the area to do the other works,” he pointed out.
Mr. Azan explained that limited resources had prevented serious work being carried out in the past. “Now we have the funds and that is why we are doing the work immediately. We want the residents to feel comfortable that if there is heavy rainfall, they have a little hope that there won’t be any flooding,” he said.
The State Minister told JIS News that it was discovered during the tour, that several of the residents had built their houses in precarious positions as well as on government land, for which they had received no permission.
“We will have to do something about those who are building on the river bank and on government owned land and therefore, the agency will have to come in and deal with that part of the problem,” he added.

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