JIS News

State Minister for Local Government in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Hon. Robert Montague, says arrangements are being made to allocate approximately
$40 million to each of the 14 municipal councils, to assist repairing infrastructural damage caused by heavy rains associated with tropical storm Nicole in September, and other severe weather systems.
Speaking at the launch of the St. Thomas Parish Council’s Customer Service Charter at the Morant Villa complex located in the parish capital on Monday November 22, Mr. Montague said the allocations are part of the US$400 million ($36 billion) Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP), being financed by a loan negotiated between the Governments of China and Jamaica.
Noting that $40 million has already been set aside for disbursement to the St. Thomas Parish Council, Mr. Montague said the funds have been specifically earmarked to effect work on retaining walls, river training, gabion baskets, bridges, culverts and the parochial road network.
He advised that the Department of Local Government is awaiting damage estimates from the St. Thomas Council, in order to arrange for the disbursement of the funds. He said the Department will also be working with the other Councils regarding submission of estimates and a timetable for disbursements.
Damage to Jamaica’s roads and attendant infrastructure, consequent on tropical storm Nicole and other severe weather systems, has been put at just over $20 billion.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the St. Thomas Parish Council, Morant Bay’s Mayor, Councillor Hanif Brown, has been commended for exemplary leadership displayed in mobilising the Council, along with various stakeholders and resources, in preparation for tropical storm Tomas in October.
Member of Parliament for eastern St. Thomas, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, who spoke at the launch, noted that he “took comfort” in the fact that the Council, under Mayor Brown’s leadership, performed “exceptionally well” in spearheading the parish’s preparations.
Director General, Department of Local Government, (retired) Major Richard Reece, also commended the Council, which he said, did well in ensuring that the citizens of the parish were well informed and kept abreast of developments pertaining to the storm, and the attendant preparations.

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