Water Minister Begins Islandwide Tours


The Ministry of Water and Housing has embarked on a series of tours to get a first hand look at the ongoing piping programmes across the island as well as to view lands that might be available for housing provisions.
The tour in the parish of St. Ann, saw the Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang and representatives from the National Housing Development Corporation (NHDC), visiting areas such as Shaw Park Heights, Shaw Park Glades and Mammee Bay in Ocho Rios, as well as Mount Edgecombe and Belle Air in Runaway Bay.
In Shaw Park Heights, it was discovered that some amount of work needed to be done on the drainage system in the area, as the problem often led to flooding in the area and the flooding of the town of Ocho Rios during periods of heavy rainfall.
“We are going to have to do some work to provide for adequate drainage because that is the critical problem there,” Dr. Chang told JIS News, pointing to the fact that squatting in the neighbouring community of Shaw Park Glades, was also contributing to the destruction of the watershed, hence the reason for an even greater problem of flooding in the Ocho Rios area.
He further stated that measures would be put in place to relieve the problem of squatting in Shaw Park Glades and assured that work would be carried out to rehabilitate the entire watershed area, which was critical for the protection of the resort town.
“In Mammee Bay we are currently completing the infrastructure work here and it is going very well and are happy with the cooperation of the citizens here,” he said, noting that the cooperation of citizens was necessary for the completion of projects in any area.
Turning to the Runaway Bay areas, Dr. Chang highlighted the squatter situation at Rockywood Estates. He said that plans were in place to address the problem and that he was certain that the residents would cooperate with the system that would be put in place there.
“What we are trying to settle is exactly the site to which we will move them to without a problem and if we have to acquire lots we will buy it but we just want to move the people in a sense of order, whether it is to improve the squatter settlement, relocate squatters or to prevent squatting it has to be done within the law and everybody treated fairly,” he said.

JIS Social