JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government will be helping with the rebuilding of homes in Mavis Bank and surrounding communities of East Rural St. Andrew, which have been destroyed by a raging bush fire in the area.
  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Luther Buchanan, said the decision was reached at a meeting, which involved Minister with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, and Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Damion Crawford.
  • Mr. Buchanan said the Government has been extending help through a multi-sectoral approach.

The Government will be helping with the rebuilding of homes in Mavis Bank and surrounding communities of East Rural St. Andrew, which have been destroyed by a raging bush fire in the area.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Luther Buchanan, said the decision was reached at a meeting, which involved Minister with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, and Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Damion Crawford.

“The (Government) has committed to seeing to the reconstruction of homes that have been damaged, through Food for the Poor,” he said during an interview with JIS News following a tour of the communities on May 11, where bedding and other items were distributed to residents affected by the fire.

Mr. Buchanan said the Government has been extending help through a multi-sectoral approach.

Noting that the situation in the communities is “devastating,” he said the massive bush fire, which has been raging for more than a week, has caused loss of homes and incomes, and has resulted in serious damage to agricultural produce.

He informed that some 500 acres of land have been scorched, resulting in over $200 million in damage to agricultural crops. Some 80 per cent of coffee had been reaped prior to the fire.

In the meantime, Mr. Buchanan called on residents to be more responsible in the lighting of fires, noting that the slash and burn practice used to clear land must cease. “The practice should desist immediately. It has contributed significantly to a lot of the fire taking place,” he said.

“There is a responsibility on the part of the citizens to act in a responsible way,” he noted.

Minister Buchanan was accompanied on the tour by State Minister in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan; Mayor of Kingston, Senator Dr. Angela Brown Burke, and personnel from various agencies.