JIS News

Chief Executive Officer of the brand new Office of National Reconstruction (ONR), Danville Walker has said that while the office’s priorities would be based on a proper assessment of the damage resulting from Hurricane Ivan, he would be looking initially at infrastructure, road issues and other matters which affect the growth of the country.
He made this disclosure today (September 14), in an interview with JIS News.
While explaining that his role as head of the ONR was to co-ordinate the reconstruction efforts, he pointed out that a separate relief effort spearheaded by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) would assist hurricane victims.
“This [ONR] is not the effort to get someone a mattress or bedding or a tent. This is not what we are about. We are going to be working very closely so that we don’t overlap efforts. I think it’s very important that both processes go forward without any hint of partisanship that will derail the effort in Jamaica,” he emphasised.
He also pointed out that the ONR would not usurp or take over the role of any public agency currently operating. “[The ONR] is not to replace them or supplant them in any way, but maybe to make them more efficient by getting them some of the resources they need,” he said.
While he was not able to say who the key personnel in his management team would be, Mr. Walker indicated that the ONR would be working alongside the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Local Government, Community Development and Sport, the Jamaica Defence Force, and other persons in the public and private sectors.
He also appealed for a spirit of co-operation and for people to work together. “We are all Jamaicans and when this hurricane came, it did not distinguish between any of us, the just and the unjust, and so we are going to work to put this storm behind us. That is pretty much our top priority in the philosophy of the organization and that’s going to be the central theme in how we approach our work,” he stressed.
The ONR, which is operating out of the National Development Bank of Jamaica, is expected to have a lifetime of six months.
“We have some offices located in the bank. From there we will make the necessary announcements as to our structure and our immediate goals and priorities,” he said.

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