JIS News

The National Works Agency (NWA) has now opened almost all the island’s major arterial roads, with the assistance of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), the Parish Councils, and the Jamaica Fire Brigade. Prime Minister P.J. Patterson made the announcement at yesterday’s (September 21) sitting of the House of Representatives.
He said there had been 928 complaints of road blockages throughout the island and that 500 had been cleared, with at least single lane access. “As of now, we are pushing on a trial basis, one lane traffic over the Yallahs Fording in St. Thomas, and by tomorrow morning, we should have clearance so that at least one lane can use that road at any point in time,” Mr. Patterson informed the House. The alternative route is via Easington.
He commended the work of the National Road Operating and Constructing Company (NROCC) and French company, Bouygues Travaux Publics, which had made their equipment and professional staff available to clear the Palisadoes road, which had been entirely covered by sand with the passage of Hurricane Ivan.
Mr. Patterson further informed that the National Water Commission (NWC) had over 200 of its facilities up and running, treating just over 80 per cent of its normal water supply. He noted that there were problems with restoring service to some areas, including Mandeville, other sections of Manchester; Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, St. Mary and Portland.
“The National Water Commission will continue to use all the resources at its disposal to restore piped water supply to all areas of the country in the shortest possible time, with the areas where the damage was most severe as being its highest priority,” he said. In the meantime, the Rapid Response Unit of the Ministry of Water and Housing would continue to truck water to areas that are without.
On electricity, Mr. Patterson said the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPSCo) estimated that it could take another 12 to 14 days to complete the major work necessary to facilitate restoration in areas where electricity had not yet been restored. According to the light and power company, electricity supply has been restored to over 300,000 of its approximately 500,000 customers.

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