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State Minister for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, has said that sustainable partnerships with local and international stakeholders have been established to strengthen disaster mitigation and emergency response in the island.
Making his contribution to the 2010/11 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on October 26, Mr. Montague cited collaboration with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to underwrite disaster risk reduction efforts in some 28 communities in eight communities.”
The three-year project, which will run up to 2011, is being funded at a cost of C$750,000. It is expected to make communities in Jamaica resilient to natural and man-made disasters.
Turning to other disaster mitigation projects, he informed that floodgates have been installed in the Bog Walk Gorge in St. Catherine, which will help curtail the loss of lives and property along the roadway during heavy rains.
He said that under phase two of the project “we will be putting up early warning signs, lights and sirens to warn the public that the gates are closed”.
Works under phase three will address back-up monitoring at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM). In addition, multi-stakeholder meetings, involving the community, will be held “to ensure all parties involved know exactly what to do and who is in charge and the members of the community can be assured that their safety is paramount,” Mr. Montague said.
He lauded the St. Catherine Parish Council, the Water Resources Authority (WRA), and ODPEM for collaborating on the project.