Drainage plan for Rocky Point

Monday, September 11, 2017

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Rocky Point, Clarendon — Disgusted and weary of having to wade through knee-high water during and after heavy rain, Arthur Coleman, local resident and president of the Rocky Point Development Council Benevolent Society, had long dreamt of a drainage plan for his community.

Finally, with the help of the Social Development Commission (SDC), Coleman got a formal plan written just over two years ago.

Imagine his delight when word came earlier this year that his plan had gained funding approval of $5 million from the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ). The latter uses money from debt swap arrangements between the United States and Jamaican governments to support sustainable development projects in Jamaica.

Things have moved quickly since the cheque was formally handed over a few months ago, with work scheduled to start today under the supervision of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation, Coleman said.

In brief, Coleman's plan is for appropriately angled storm drains to take water off the roads to the sea, assisted by tidal gates and barriers made of boulders to minimize high-tide incursions from the sea into the drains.

“I can assure you that when we finish this project we won't have any more flooding on our main roads because the water will run off quickly after rain,” an enthusiastic Coleman, who is an electrician, told the Jamaica Observer Central during a quick tour of the Rocky Point fishing village last Thursday.

“Even if rain falls for two days within half hour after that people will be able to walk freely, that is our aim and determination, and that is our promise,” he added.

Coleman expects the project to last three to four months while employing 30 local people.

Rocky Point boasts one of Jamaica's largest and busiest fishing beaches and improved drainage will help business for fisher folk, locals say. As the situation currently stands many prospective customers stay away during heavy rain, they say.

Randy Scott, part owner of the just over year-old Rocky Point White Sand Beach Seafood Restaurant which also serves as a leading entertainment centre in Rocky Point was quick to identify the benefits of proper drainage.

“When the road to come in gets flooded … we have to close business… we lose that day, so we need the situation to improve,” he said.

— Garfield Myers

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