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  • The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has commenced removing debris which partly contributed to flooding along sections of lower Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston on September 9.
  • Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the exercise will entail cleaning the adjacent Tivoli and Shoemaker gullies where hundreds of discarded plastic bottles and Styrofoam boxes have accumulated over time.
  • The Minister said the waterway may not flow at full capacity due in part to road expansion being undertaken on Marcus Garvey Drive by the National Works Agency (NWA), and assured that “we are going to remove as much of the garbage that we possibly can”.

The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has commenced removing debris which partly contributed to flooding along sections of lower Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston on September 9.

Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the exercise will entail cleaning the adjacent Tivoli and Shoemaker gullies where hundreds of discarded plastic bottles and Styrofoam boxes have accumulated over time.

He acknowledged that this exercise will take some time to be completed, due to the volume of debris to be removed.

The Minister said the waterway may not flow at full capacity due in part to road expansion being undertaken on Marcus Garvey Drive by the National Works Agency (NWA), and assured that “we are going to remove as much of the garbage that we possibly can”.

The Minister was speaking with journalists following a tour of the affected area on Friday, September 16.

Debris and road works have been identified as the main factors causing the flooding which affected the operations of several businesses situated on Marcus Garvey Drive.

They include the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, and the state-run Wallenford Coffee Company Limited, for which cost assessments for damage sustained are still being conducted.

Mr McKenzie, who has portfolio responsibility for the NSWMA, said the agency was also instructed to assist with clean-up operations at these and other affected state entities in the area.

Meanwhile, the Minister convened an emergency meeting with representatives of several Government entities at the Ministry’s Hagley Park Road offices in Kingston  to discuss how best to prevent a reoccurrence of the incident.

Agencies represented included the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), National Water Commission (NWC), NSWMA and NWA.

Mr. McKenzie said the meeting was necessary “because it is quite clear that there has to be a collective response to what took place on Marcus Garvey Drive”.

The Minister indicated that a report on the incident has been presented to Cabinet, as vital institutions in the growth agenda of the Government were affected.

Mr. McKenzie urged persons to display greater responsibility in how they discard waste.

“I urge persons across Jamaica to show greater civic pride and stop disposing garbage irresponsibly,” he urged.

For his part, the NSWMA’s Chief Technical Officer, Audley Gordon, also urged householders and business operators to package their solid waste in the prescribed manner to facilitate their removal to the approved disposal sites.