Minister with Responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has said that, while the Government will explore options for flood-prone Caribbean Terrace, St. Andrew, there are fiscal constraints in addressing the problems.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon Daryl Vaz
Mr. Vaz told the House of Representatives Tuesday (March 9) that the issues, which cross several ministries and agencies of Government, have to be examined from a technical perspective to explore solutions.
The Minister recalled that, after Hurricane Ivan, an initiative was taken to address the issues of the residents of Caribbean Terrace.
“What I can say is that, as it relates to NEPA (National Environment and Planning Agency), they are prepared to indicate what rehabilitation needs to be done, and that would be along the lines of re-vegetation and dune creation,” he said.
He noted that there are fiscal constraints but, at this point, he was prepared to reactivate the discussions, to see what has already been done in the way of remedying the situation and what more can be done.
Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, Joseph Hibbert, said that until protective works, planned by the Ministry of Transport and Works for the coast road from Kingston to St. Thomas, are completed, residents cannot continue to reside in Caribbean Terrace without risks.
Mr. Hibbert noted that suitable land, owned by the National Water Commission (NWC), had been identified east of Harbour View, where residents could be relocated but it would require infrastructure works.
“Until the lands are properly developed, I think the residents would be reluctant to move there,” Mr. Hibbert said. However, he noted that persons who have viewed it, felt that it could be used as an alternative.
He suggested that, once the Ministry of Transport and Works completes protection works on the Palisadoes strip, the activities should continue east to Harbour View, encompassing Caribbean Terrace to St. Benedict Heights, Copacabana and Bull Bay.
Caribbean Terrace is a disaster prone upscale, sea coast community in eastern St. Andrew, close to Harbour View, which was devastated by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and again by Hurricane Dean in 2007.