JIS News

During Hurricane Ivan on September 10 last year, some 135 residents of Golden Spring crammed into the inadequate community centre to seek shelter under conditions, which were less than desirable.
Today (Labour Day, May 23), the residents ensured that in the event of another such disaster, they will be housed in much better surroundings.
From as early as 8:00 a.m., several persons gathered at the centre armed with their work tools, to refurbish the kitchen with new counters, paint the walls, install metal doors and clean-up the land.
Carmen Stewart, Custos of St. Andrew, who was on hand to view the work in progress, told JIS News that the community centre was chosen as one of two parish projects, because it would alternate as a shelter in the event of natural disasters.
“I am really very impressed at the zeal with which the people are attacking this job. You can see their whole heart is in it and I am really glad to see so many strong men really working hard, and already I can see it is going to make a lot of difference,” she said.
The Custos also expressed delight at the gradual transformation of the facility, as the residents worked. “It is surprising how some paint and some repairs can make such a difference, and the people are in good spirits. You can see they really want to work and go ahead with it,” she said.
She noted that under the theme, ‘Prepare for Disaster, Recover Faster’, this was a most fitting project.
“I think this is very important.we must prepare. I believe they (the residents) probably did suffer in the last hurricane and this centre housed a lot of people.and they realize that this is critical to the welfare of the community and I think that has urged them in coming out,” she said.
Andrew Gallimore, Member of Parliament for the area was also actively engaged in painting a section of the building.
“You will see there are a lot of people inside who are also painting. There are also some persons doing some carpentry inside to create different cabinets as holding areas,” he explained.
Councillor for the area, Tocha Schwapp, expressed pleasure at the work being done, which she said, would benefit the residents greatly in the event of another hurricane. “Last year with the passing of Hurricane Ivan, we had to host 135 persons in this location, which was really in a terrible condition, so we are now painting and re-doing the kitchen. We hope to have all of this finished today,” she said.
Daniel Allen, a painter from the community said he was at the Labour Day project because he wanted to create a wholesome environment in the event that the centre was used as a shelter.
“I heard it announce on the radio that the community centre is supposed to be turned into a relief centre if there should be a hurricane, and I really feel proud about that. I think it is a very good idea for the community of West Rural St. Andrew,” he told JIS News.

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