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179 households from Kingston, St. Andrew and Spanish Town that were totally destroyed by the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav, should be relocated to West Albion in St Thomas in the near future.
Work is expected to resume at the relocation site, following a recent stakeholder meeting hosted by the Ministry of Water and Housing at its Dominica Drive offices in New Kingston.
Food for the Poor which had given an undertaking to assist with the relocation of the affected persons by constructing 150 units on the site, had halted construction following objections to the pending relocation, by the residents of West Albion.
The aid organization had already completed 14 units and construction was proceeding on another eleven units, when the work was shut down due to the protests of the residents.
However, during the meeting , all the stakeholders came to the understanding that the relocation was necessary.
The meeting was attended by The Mayor of Morant Bay Councillor Hanif Brown and members of this Technical Team as well as Councillor for the area, Gary Henry.
The West Albion residents were represented at the meeting by Rev. Lennox Kirby and his team, while the beneficiaries from Kintyre and Hope River Valley who are to be relocated were represented by Mrs. Eda Hall and Mr. Lenford Ellis.
Also in attendance were Pauline Bryan-Ellington, Deputy Chief Public Health Inspector for St. Thomas; Executive Director of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Ronald Jackson;
Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said the Ministry is proceeding with the development of the 23 hectare property at West Albion which is being subdivided into 217 lots.
The fourteen units which have been completed by Food for the Poor, are expected to be handed over to the selected beneficiaries shortly,
Another 30 persons from the Corporate Area, whose homes were totally destroyed have been given building grants of J$100,000 each.
In all, 251 households in the Corporate Area and St. Catherine, were totally destroyed by the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav in 2008.