Kingston mayor says flood mitigation a priority

Kingston mayor says flood mitigation a priority

Thursday, October 15, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, says flood mitigation planning remains a priority for the municipality.

“The municipality is concerned about flooding and is committed to flood mitigation and the reduction of flood damage. We must prepare, adopt, implement and update the comprehensive Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan using standard planning processes,” he said.

“We must become committed to review, analyse and discuss flooding issues and the potential mitigation measures for communities across the municipality,” he added.

The mayor was addressing Tuesday's monthly meeting of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

He said that the Corporation will be meeting with key stakeholders to address the issue of increased runoffs and to see how best to minimise the damage caused by flooding.

“The issue of enhanced runoff is something that has been… under discussion in the city engineer department for some time now. We have to begin to look seriously at the issue, but we have to develop a comprehensive approach and it has to be in the spirit of partnership with residents and developers,” he pointed out.

He said that new development must be regulated “to ensure that post-development runoff is not greater than pre-development runoff. There must be partnership between us, the residents and the developers, as the issue of potential flooding from greater runoff is a shared problem and a risk for properties and infrastructure”.

Williams further informed that the planning and engineering department of the KSAMC will be collaborating with ministries, agencies and other stakeholders in developing and sharing information in relation to flood plains across the municipality.

He noted that flood plains are dynamic natural systems that provide a wide range of benefits to the ecosystem and communities.

“Any serious or responsible flood reduction and mitigation measure must examine open space preservation, public or private. Flood plains ought to be kept free from development or zoned in such a manner that stipulates minimum lot sizes of acres,” he argued.

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