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KINGSTON — Communications Manager at the National Works Agency (NWA), Stephen Shaw, says a $100 million island-wide drain cleaning programme is to be undertaken by the agency this year.

This exercise, scheduled to begin this month, falls under the agency’s annual mitigation programme.

“We are going to be working with the Members of Parliament in identifying some of these locations that we are going to be targeting,” Mr. Shaw said at a Disaster Preparedness Month press conference held on June 1 at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) Haining Road headquarters in New Kingston.

He also issued a warning against the burning of garbage in catch pits, noting that this “dangerous practice” not only causes damage to roads but also puts lives at risk. A catch pit is part of the storm drain or sewer system, which is designed to trap debris that would otherwise enter the drainage pipes and cause blockages.

According to Mr. Shaw, the burning of garbage in these basins, “actually burns the pipes from beneath the roads, which are plastic. It melts away from the catch pit all the way to the outlet, and in effect, what you have is a road that is floating; there is nothing there holding it."island-wide drain cleaning

“I want to ask persons to assist us in keeping the drainage features in place and not to dump anything in these basins and worst, not to light any fires in them because they are not incinerators. Find someplace to store your garbage, because the life you save may very well be someone who is dear to you,” he pleaded.

Disaster Preparedness Month is being observed in June under the theme: ‘Building Disaster Resilience…Our First Line of Defence’.

 

By ALECIA SMITH, JIS Reporter