Labour Ministry leads relief efforts for communities affected by Tropical Storm Ian
Karl Samuda

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security, in collaboration with the Red Cross and other humanitarian partners, has moved decisively to deliver much-needed relief to communities in St Catherine, Clarendon, Portland, St Elizabeth and St Ann.

These parishes were most affected by flooding due to torrential rainfall associated with the passage of Tropical Storm Ian, from September 24 to September 26.

Portfolio Minister Karl Samuda assured affected residents that, “the Ministry’s Emergency Response team is on the ground, conducting assessments and providing emergency relief items, and will be providing financial support to those who have suffered loss or damage to their homes. We want to assure our citizens that this government will do everything possible to help them overcome the impact of this difficult time.”

Assessments and emergency relief support continue in all affected parishes, with the distribution of food parcels, hygiene kits and tarpaulins. The Ministry is also preparing to deliver mattresses to families in need, as conditions allow.

The Ministry's Disaster, Rehabilitation and Welfare Management Unit, has confirmed that homes in at least five major communities in St Catherine and eight in Clarendon have been severely impacted, and have suffered varying degrees of loss to property and household items.

The St Catherine communities include Church Road in Bog walk, Kent Village, Hampton Green, Big Pond, and Patrick Street in Old Harbour, while those in Clarendon include areas of May Pen, Palmetto Pen, Corn Piece, Bottom Halse hall, Free Town, Palmers Cross, Toll Gate and Race Course and its environs. One Shelter was activated in Clarendon with 10 individuals who were provided with hygiene kits. The shelter remains open, but the occupants have returned home.

The parishes of St Elizabeth, St Ann and Portland have also been impacted, however, the degree of damage and dislocation suffered is relatively less. In St Elizabeth, one family whose house was destroyed by a fallen tree, has been provided with relief supplies.

In Portland, two houses were damaged by fallen trees, one partially, and the other completely. The Ministry is in dialogue with Food for the Poor to collaborate on efforts at assisting the families. Efforts are being made to provide support to a St Ann family whose house has been partially damaged, however, the efforts are being hampered as the road is impassable due to fallen trees.

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