JIS News

The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) has forwarded a resolution to the Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport for the provision of a dedicated fund for the cleaning of drains and gullies in the corporate area and all other parish councils.
Addressing the KSAC monthly press briefing at the Council’s Church Street offices, yesterday (July 12), Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie informed that the Councils had requested a minimum sum of $50 million to be placed in the fund for the cleaning of the drains and gullies. Mayor McKenzie noted that this fund would be additionally helpful, as it would save the Corporation from having to spend from the parochial revenue funds, which is dedicated to road maintenance and repairs, to clean drains and gullies. An additional $50 million has also been requested for the commencement of the programme. Councillor McKenzie further explained that estimates carried out after Hurricane Dennis in rural St. Andrew had shown that in order to undertake a gully and drain cleaning programme, approximately $56 million would be needed to repair damages caused to gullies, while an additional $26 million would be required to clean blocked drains and gullies. He noted that these gullies and drains were selective and considered crucial to the survival of the city.
Meanwhile the Mayor informed that the KSAC had sought the support of corporate entities such as the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ), the Jamaica Employers Federation, the Jamaica Manufacturers Association, and the Jamaica Exporters Association for a drain and gully adoption programme. The programme would be geared towards the prevention of flooding within the business areas such as Newport East and Newport West during the hurricane season. This development he noted came out of consultation meetings between the entities and the KSAC. Four companies have so far committed to the programme in collaboration with the KSAC.
GraceKennedy through its staff foundation has committed to clean a number of drains and gullies in the Rae Town area, while Petrojam who contributed some $2.5 million last year towards drain and gully cleaning will this year undertake the clearing of the Shoe Marker gully on Marcus Garvey Drive. Meanwhile, J. Wray and Nephew will undertake the cleaning of gullies and drains in Seaview Gardens and sections of Waterhouse and N.E.M Insurance Company will undertake the responsibility of clearing drains in downtown Kingston. “This initiative demonstrates that we are not just depending on Central government to provide resources as they are limited,” he asserted. Mayor McKenzie also called on developers and contractors to desist from creating improper drainage systems as exists on Stella Drive within the Harbour View area.
He explained that the improper drainage systems were resulting in the flooding and subsequent damage of roads. “We have an obligation to protect the lives and livelihood of citizens and we are not going to renege on those obligations,” he stressed.

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