Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government has committed emergency funds to extinguish the fire at the Riverton City Landfill.
  • Addressing a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister this afternoon (March 13), Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan, informed that a national response team has been put in place to coordinate activities to control the fire, which started on March 11.
  • The team, which is working on a 24-hour basis, includes representatives of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), the Jamaica Fire Brigade, the Ministry of Health, among others.

The Government has committed emergency funds to extinguish the fire at the Riverton City Landfill.

Addressing a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister this afternoon (March 13), Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan, informed that a national response team has been put in place to coordinate activities to control the fire, which started on March 11.

The team, which is working on a 24-hour basis, includes representatives of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), the Jamaica Fire Brigade, the Ministry of Health, among others.

He said the Ministry is also procuring dust masks, in an effort to protect the health of persons living in communities affected by heavy smoke coming from the dump.

Mr. Fagan said the Government is concerned that the smoke can cause health challenges, and extended apologies “to the people, who are close to the landfill, and in other areas which are affected by the smoke. We are doing everything possible to ensure that we extinguish the fire.”

Acting Director, Emergency, Disaster Preparedness and Special Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sonia Copeland, informed that several health facilities around the affected communities will be open on the weekend to accommodate persons, who might experience respiratory problems.

She is advising persons living near or travelling in the vicinity of the landfill to keep their windows closed, and to use a wet rag to cover their nose and mouth to reduce the effects of the smoke.

Head of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Errol Mowatt, reported that equipment has been assigned to fight the fire, and much of the heavy smog that is seen is as a result of activities being undertaken to extinguish the blaze.

For her part, Executive Director of the NSWMA, Jennifer Edwards, said the police has been asked to carry out a special investigation on the cause of the fire, noting that the current blaze might be the largest to occur at the site to date.