JIS News

State Minister for Finance and Planning, Senator Deika Morrison, has said that Jamaicans needed to become more aware of the environmental laws to reduce incidents that could contribute to natural disasters.
Senator Morrison, who was speaking at an environmental fair at the Pizgah All-age School in St. Elizabeth recently, cited a 2002 survey conducted by the Ridge to Reef Watershed Project, which showed that most Jamaicans had no knowledge of the environmental laws or regulations with the exception of the Litter Act, which was mentioned by less than 24 per cent of the respondents.
Under the law, disposal of garbage in gullies, rivers or streams attract a maximum penalty of $1,000,000 or nine months in prison; pollution of water sources by improper disposal of human waste attracts a maximum penalty of $50,000, while disposal of agricultural chemical or washing spray cans in rivers or streams carried a similar penalty.
Senator Morrison said it was up to communities to be informed about these laws so as to reduce hazards that could seriously affect the health of the population. “It is true that natural disasters are unavoidable, however we can educate ourselves about potential impacts, prepare for them and conscientiously take steps to minimize the impact that these disasters have on our lives,” she stated.
The environmental fair, held to commemorate ‘World Water Day’ was organised by the Great River Watershed Management Committee (GRWMC) in conjunction with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and the Ridge to Reef Watershed Project.

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