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Gov't allocates $30m to mitigate drought in affected parishes

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie says due to severe drought conditions across the island, the Government is allocating $30 million in a mitigation programme to distribute adequate water to affected parishes.

Speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing today, the first to be held since the start of 2018, McKenzie noted that the Meteorological (Met) Service of Jamaica has recently drawn attention to the severe conditions that have been existing across the country.

“The Met Office has issued a drought alert for sections of St Catherine, Clarendon, St Elizabeth and a drought watch is presently existing in the parish of Portland,” he said.

The minister explained that this is in keeping with the forecast that for higher than normal temperatures with lower than normal levels of rainfall from July to September.

“These conditions are not synonymous to Jamaica, but are conditions that have been affecting parts the Americas, Canada as well as the United Kingdom. The government has taken careful note of the situation, not only in these parishes but across the island, and will moving to ensure the continuation normal economic and residential life,” he said.

According to McKenzie, the first phase of the mitigation program to alleviate these conditions will see $30 million being allocated to the Municipal Corporations in selected parishes to enable the trucking of water to the various affected communities.

He added that a further $50 million will be used to establish a mitigation program to combat flooding in critical areas across the island.

Trudi-Ann Cunningham

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