$140 Million Spent on Drain Cleaning

first_imgStory Highlights ODPEM commended on its drive to not just focus on disaster response, but on building the resilience of communities Just under $140 million has been allocated by Government for drain cleaning this year in preparation for the Atlantic hurricane season and to guard against flooding.This was disclosed by Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, at a briefing at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday, September 12, to look at Jamaica’s state-of-readiness for a hurricane.The event, hosted by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), was held on the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Gilbert.Mr. Arscott informed that most of the drains across the country “have substantially been prepared and I think we will be in a good position if we have any kind of flood events to be as best prepared as we can.”He stressed that the issue of the dumping of garbage in drains, gullies, river ways and open lots, “is something that we are going to address very seriously as a country”, reminding that he has already warned that the fines for these breaches are going to be severe.He further commended ODPEM on its drive to not just focus on disaster response, but on building the resilience of communities.“We have to work to ensure that the resilience is in-built in what we do and our citizens are part and parcel of trying to mitigate some of the problems,” he said.Acting Director General of ODPEM, Richard Thompson,said that greater attention is being placed on disaster prevention and mitigation. “We are doing a lot of work in the communities where we are putting a lot of micro mitigation projects (in place),” he said.He noted that under the Building Disaster Resilient Communities (BDRC) project, ODPEM has worked in many communities for the past five years to strengthen their ability to withstand disasters.In the meantime, Meteorologist, Evan Thompson, informed the country is “not entirely out of the woods” in terms of continued weather developments.“We are expecting that the rest of September, going into October, going into November, will have increased activity in comparison to what we experienced in the first three to four months,” he said.Today’s briefing reflected on the devastation caused by the eight-hour-long category 4 hurricane. The event also sought to examine Jamaica’s current state-of- preparedness from a sectorial perspective. The country is “not entirely out of the woods” in terms of continued weather developments The rest of September, going into October, going into November, will have increased activitylast_img

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