KSAC Prepares Report for Hurricane Season


With the 2005 hurricane season only three months away, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) has prepared a report offering guidelines on the possible actions the city could pursue in the event of a hurricane striking the island.
Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie said the report was developed with the assistance of representatives from the National Works Agency (NWA), National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM).
He said the agencies were invited to sit on a Task Force that was initiated by the KSAC as a response to the damage that was done in sections of the Corporate Area by Hurricane Ivan last September.
Mayor McKenzie was speaking to journalists at the KSAC’s monthly press briefing, held at the Council’s offices in downtown, Kingston on March 8.
“We saw the need to be pro-active, in terms of how, as a city, we responded to various challenges that faced us after Hurricane Ivan, so with the limitations of the Council in terms of its technical competence and staffing, a Task Force was formed,” he explained.
He noted that the report would be “the basis on which we move forward as a Council leading up to the hurricane season, and to take corrective measures against a repeat of some of what occurred last year during Hurricane Ivan”.
Mayor McKenzie said copies of the report had been forwarded to Prime Minister P.J. Patterson; the Minister of Land and Environment, Dean Peart; Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Portia Simpson Miller; and the Minister of Transport and Works, Robert Pickersgill.
Explaining the rationale for sharing copies of the report, he said “this is a very indepth document with some far reaching recommendations, which I hope we will be able to find some common ground with central government and other agencies in implementing certain aspects of the recommendations”.
Mr. McKenzie informed that the KSAC’s Building Department was recently presented with several computers, inclusive of a lap top, from the Jamaica Developers Association. The computers are valued in excess of $250,000.
“These computers will assist the KSAC building department to meet a 90-day approval process that we have been working with the Jamaica Developers Association to reach,” he said.
The Mayor also disclosed that the KSAC had procured a back-hoe, which would aid in the removal of large debris.
“The sole intent and purpose of that bit of equipment is to facilitate work that the Council has to do on a daily basis. There are times when many of the Councillors in rural divisions are experiencing blocked roads and having difficulty in getting the kind of equipment [to remove debris] because of the price to procure the equipment,” he said.
He said the rural areas would have first priority in the use of the back-hoe, but noted that it would also be used “as part of the on-going clean-up exercise that we are doing in the Corporate Area”.

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