• JIS News

    Some $10 million will be needed by the Jamaica Red Cross (JRC) to finance relief assistance for flood victims, and other persons affected by rains associated with the tropical depression affecting Jamaica over the past three days.
    The organization has been working closely with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the Ministry of Health and other agencies, in a national response to the tropical depression.
    Speaking with JIS News, Deputy Director General of the Jamaica Red Cross, Lois Hue, said that funds have been requested from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund of the International Red Cross (IRC).
    “They are willing to let us have some of that, so the money we will be getting from that will enable us to pay for the things that we plan to do,” she said.
    Additionally, she said, some of the funds will be used to support the Ministry of Health’s Dengue Emergency Programme, and to purchase the chemical, malathion, used to destroy Aedes (mosquitoes) breeding sites that might be prevalent in some areas.
    “There is a big possibility that this may be a problem, with all the water that is staying on the ground and the threat of Dengue, so we are looking at assisting the Ministry with finding the chemical to deal with that,” she said.
    Mrs. Hue said that tarpaulin is chief among the needs of the people, and the Red Cross has been busy distributing to persons whose homes have been leaking due to the heavy rainfall. So far, some 125 tarpaulins have been distributed to families in St. Catherine. Food packages and tarpaulins have been distributed to families in Kingston and St. Andrew.
    Mrs. Hue said that blankets and hygiene kits were also in great demand by affected persons.
    The Deputy Director General stated that the organisation was currently conducting damage assessments in collaboration with other agencies and, based on the results of those assessments, distribution will be done.
    She said, however, that the work of the JRC volunteers was being hampered by bad weather conditions, as well as difficulty in moving around due to the cut off of some areas.
    “I know that in Westmoreland there are some places that they would like to go to, but they cannot,” she said. She stated that Westmoreland was the worst affected parish, based on assessments conducted so far.