Disaster Risk Management Act to be amended

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Disaster Risk Management Act to be amended

Thursday, February 18, 2021

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen says amendments will be made to the Disaster Risk Management Act to sufficiently meet ever-changing realities.

Delivering the Throne Speech at the ceremonial opening of Parliament at Gordon House today, he said the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and its portfolio agencies, and local authorities, play a pivotal role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has been charged with the responsibility of the Disaster Risk Management Act, which has formed the basis for the national response. In keeping with ongoing efforts to be sufficiently responsive to ever-changing conditions, amendments will be made to the Disaster Risk Management Act,” the governor-general shared.

The throne speech outlines the Government's plans and programmes for the new legislative year, which begins on April 1.

Meanwhile, the Governor-General said through social protection programmes and initiatives, several activities were undertaken to care for the vulnerable.

He said care packages were provided to the homeless and a special feeding programme was initiated to provide at least two meals per day for them.

The governor-general noted, too, that the Church Street shelter was opened to provide accommodation to more than 70 homeless persons in the downtown area of Kingston, while temporary shelters were established in St Catherine.

He said a comprehensive cleaning and sanitisation exercise was carried out in all infirmaries and golden-age homes, while buildings were renovated to be used as isolation areas.

He noted that the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) will be expanding its fleet capacity to better serve communities islandwide.

“The Government remains committed to improving infrastructure, capacity-building and creating additional employment opportunities to propel economic development and improve quality of life in the rural areas,” he said.

He said that the legislative priorities for the 2021/22 fiscal year include the Human Services Bill, the National Solid Waste (Amendment) Bill and Regulations related to the NSWMA and the Building (Service and Enforcement of Notices and Orders) Regulations.

The throne speech was delivered under the theme “Building Forward…Stronger Together”.

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