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JIS News

Some 800 residents from the Roaring River area in Westmoreland are to be relocated by the Government.
State Minister in the Ministry of Water and Housing, Harry Douglas, who made the announcement when he addressed the Westmoreland Parish Council recently, said 20.49 hectares of land have been acquired, surveyed and designs were presently being undertaken.
The relocation plan has been prompted by the Westmoreland Parish Council, which wrote to the Ministry of Water and Housing a year ago, expressing great concern about the health risk to residents who use water from the Roaring River water source.
“The Ministry of Health, the Water Resources Authority and other agencies have determined that the quality of the Roaring River water which supplies residents in communities, including Roaring River, Petersfield, Darliston, Amity, Georges Plain and Savanna-la-Mar, is threatened,” he pointed out.
“Some actions have been taken over time to address aspects of the problem. However, after consideration by the various agencies and stakeholders involved, including the Council, it was agreed that the most prudent course to take in addressing the problem in a meaningful way, is to relocate the residents,” the State Minister said.
He explained that as soon as the plans were prepared, they would be submitted to the Westmoreland Parish Council, which was expected to respond to the Minister of Water and Housing in a timely manner, so that the necessary declaration of the scheme, under the Housing Act, could be finalized.
Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar, Councillor Delford Morgan told JIS News that he was heartened by the presentation from Mr. Douglas and was happy that the matter was now being given the attention and urgency that it deserved.
“There is a clear need for persons to understand that the process of allotting residential lots will not be the Council’s, but that the government will, through its agencies, be dealing with that,” Mayor Morgan emphasized.
He emphasized that the integrity of the Roaring River water supply system was critical to the welfare of all the persons in this parish.