JIS News

Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang, got a first hand view of the damage done to houses in a number of communities in Eastern Portland, by Tropical Storm Gustav, during a tour on September 18.
The communities visited were Hectors River, Long Road, Belle Castle, Scotts Run, Reach, Muirton Pen and Manchioneal.
Dr. Chang, who was accompanied by Member of Parliament for Eastern Portland, Dr. Donald Rhodd, and Officers from the Ministry, spoke to a number of the victims, who told him about the plight they were experiencing, as a result of the damage they have suffered.
The districts were the ones hardest hit in Portland by the tropical storm, with the damage done to housing being the worst feature of the devastation.
During a press briefing at the end of the tour, Dr. Chang said he fully appreciated the extent of the damage done to the houses in the communities, adding that the Ministry would be working closely with the relevant agencies and elected representatives in the area, to provide the necessary assistance to the victims.
He pointed out that the Government is exploring the possibility of relocating residents of high risk areas in the communities, and that the Darlingford property in Manchioneal, is being looked at as a possible site for the relocation.
In his address, Dr. Rhodd said he is in the process of making representation for more assistance for the victims.
He noted that some help has already been provided since the passage of the storm, and that an ongoing assessment programme is in place to determine what further help is necessary.