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    • Repairs are to be undertaken on minor water systems in St. Thomas and Portland that were damaged during the recent heavy rains.
    • Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says that $1.5 million is to be provided to the Parish Councils to begin the works.
    • Minister McKenzie noted that the overall damage to infrastructure in both parishes is estimated at $50 million, with St. Thomas accounting for close to $43 million.

    Repairs are to be undertaken on minor water systems in St. Thomas and Portland that were damaged during the recent heavy rains.

    Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says that $1.5 million is to be provided to the Parish Councils to begin the works.

    He informed that $500,000 will be disbursed to Portland, while St. Thomas will receive $750,000.

    The Minister was speaking to journalists on Tuesday (May 10), shortly before touring sections of Portland to assess the extent of the damage to parochial roads and water systems from the heavy rainfall last month. Among the areas visited were Clear Spring, Seaview Farm and Johnny Hill.

    Minister McKenzie noted that the overall damage to infrastructure in both parishes is estimated at $50 million, with St. Thomas accounting for close to $43 million.

    He said further review and discussion will be held with the technical officers in the Ministry, to see how best other repairs can be facilitated.

    As it relates to the rehabilitation of roads, Minister McKenzie pointed out that with the hurricane season to begin in June, the Government has to be careful about carrying out extensive works at this time.  He noted, however, that measures will be put in place to ensure that thoroughfares are passable.

    For his part, Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Wayne McKenzie, said the Portland Parish Council has been working to return damaged roads to driveable condition.

    He informed that funding has been earmarked to do some remedial work on the Johnny Hill Road. He noted that the Seaview Farm Road, which suffered some damage, was repaired shortly before the rain.

    The Mayor said the Council has been carrying out drain-cleaning works to protect the roads in the parish and minimise flooding.

    “We started a programme sometime last year in terms of doing some paving of drains. We are doing everything to try and minimise the negative impact of the rain on our road network,” he said.

    Meanwhile, Minister McKenzie said mitigation exercises will be carried out in the two parishes in addition to St. Mary, St. Thomas and Clarendon, which are most vulnerable to flooding during the hurricane season.