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JIS News

The St. Catherine Parish Council is to enforce regulations regarding no-build zones, and will be seeking the support of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), to ensure compliance.
Chairman of the St. Catherine Parish Council, Mayor Dr. Andrew Wheatley, told JIS News that following the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav last week, and Prime Minister Bruce Golding’s statement that no-build zones would be reviewed and enforced, the Parish Council would be embarking on a drive to enforce the law. This, he said, would help to prevent losses, as occurred due to flooding during the storm.
“Once the Parish Council serves notices and persons do not comply, then we bring in the Police to ensure that proper enforcement is done,” he explained.
He pointed out that the Parish Council, as the local planning authority, has the power to enforce regulations in relation to development zones. He added that some persons are not willing to abide by the regulations and they would have to be taken before the courts, which could be a lengthy process. “So, we are looking at the laws in that regard,” the Mayor said.
Dr. Wheatley noted that the Parish Council’s Disaster Committee was taking note and keeping a log of new flood prone areas, especially the squatter communities, and would be ensuring that the necessary mitigation strategies are implemented to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
He said that mitigation efforts were overwhelmed during the tropical storm, because of the volume of water. “You could never imagine, in your wildest dreams, that water could reach that level,” he said.
The Mayor is cautioning persons not to build houses in flood prone areas, “because if they are not careful their hard earned cash will be washed away.”