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JIS News

Several families from the communities of Brighton, Little Bay and Salmon Point in western Westmoreland, whose homes were totally destroyed by Hurricane Ivan last year, are expected to be relocated in Brighton in December.
Twenty-five new two-bedroom houses, presently under construction by some 72 soldiers from Venezuela are now 85 per cent complete. The houses which are being built at a cost of approximately $45 million are scheduled for completion by the end of November.
The dwellings are a gift from the government of Venezuela to Jamaica specifically for the residents of western Westmoreland and are being constructed with material and equipment shipped from that country to Jamaica.
Chief Executive Officer of the Office of National Reconstruction (ONR) Danville Walker, yesterday (October 24) led a team from the ONR and the Ministry of Land and Environment to examine the progress of construction on the relocation project site. The infrastructure works on the project which include construction of roadways, a water supply system, sewage disposal and installation of electricity, are being carried out by the ONR.
Mr. Walker told JIS News that he was pleased with the progress and quality of all the infrastructure and construction work now underway on the relocation site and expressed appreciation to the government of Venezuela for the timely gift.
“We at the ONR are really pleased with the houses which are made from concrete. If there is another storm here, we would expect these houses to stand up very well to the ravages of such a storm or hurricane. What we are trying to build here is a community, a community that can work and live together . hence we are ensuring that the whole scheme is conducive to good community living,” Mr. Walker stated.
“We are happy and pleased with the project so far and congratulate the Venezuelan soldiers. They have done an excellent job and have worked closely with the ONR and we support them in their bold efforts. They have been very good friends to us and we welcome them to our country.
We hope that all those who have received this assistance will go on to make us all proud by building from this point on in their own lands,” he added.
Principal Director in the Ministry of Land and Environment, Judith Maloney told JIS news that after careful examination by a number of organizations including the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and the Westmoreland Health Department, 10 acres which were a part of 170 acres of forest reserve at Crosbie Plantation, was identified as suitable for the new housing project.
“The progress on this project has been excellent and we at the Ministry of Land and Environment are really very proud of the developments here . a lot of work has gone into this project and we really are proud and the community have been very supportive and I think they are pleased. Some issues have been raised at the meeting today and certainly they will be reviewed at an early meeting with stakeholders including persons from the international agencies,” Ms. Maloney told JIS News.
The relocation site has been developed with 45 lots, on which 25 houses are been built, resulting in 20 excess lots. The ONR has therefore taken the decision to sell the excess lots in order to create a mix of different income groups for the scheme, to give immediate and surrounding community residents an opportunity to own a lot and to recover some of the infrastructure costs.