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Minister of Housing, Transport, Water and Works, Robert Pickersgill, has said that phase two of river-training works on the Cobourne Gully in St. Catherine, would get underway before the end of the financial year.
“Having completed phase one, we intend, in phase two, to start protective work before the end of the financial year. This means that about 500-feet of protective work will be done by March 31,” the Minister said yesterday (Jan. 16) in the House of Representatives.
A total of $21 million was made available under the Special Flood Damage Programme for the training of the waterway, which causes flooding of the Nightingale community, during heavy rainfall.
Minister Pickersgill said that the river-training involved some 2,500 feet of embankment work and so far, the waterway has been de-silted “with the pushing up of one and a half miles of embankment; protection with boulders of two critical areas along channel, which were previously breached; cutting and removal of several large fallen trees along the waterway, and the planting of vegetation along waterway to help stabilize the embankment”.
River training has not been confined to St. Catherine, as according to the Minister, significant work was being done across the island, including the clearing of drains and gullies, to prevent flooding and other hazards.
“There has been the cleaning of drains and gullies island wide by the local authorities and the National Works Agency, while work continues on the preparation of flood plain and hazard maps island wide,” he stated.
Meanwhile, in response to complaints of flooding caused by the Highway 2000 development, the Minister said that a report was prepared, which recommends remedial action along the water courses along the Highway 2000 corridor.
“A further, more detail independent study may be required with the actual modeling of each watershed and the effects of the various storm-flow events on both the surrounding lands and the Highway 2000 facility,” informed Mr. Pickersgill.