PNP calls for immediate allocation of funds for drain cleaning
Natalie Neita Garvey

KINGSTON, Jamaica— Opposition Spokesperson on Local Government and Sport, Natalie Neita Garvey, is calling on the Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie, to provide all Municipal Corporations with adequate funding from the Parochial Revenue Fund (PRF) to clean drains and address other municipal infrastructure in the wake of flooding from Hurricane Ian.

In a release on Tuesday, Neita Garvey claimed that in July, the Ministry asked the Municipal Corporations to establish a drain cleaning programme for $600,000, which she says has not been funded. This programme, she added, should have been funded by PRF allocations set aside in June and September.

“Although September has not yet ended and funds were not yet ready, it was important that blocked drains be cleaned as the Atlantic Hurricane season is now at its peak. Drainage failure and improper infrastructure were the leading causes of much of the flooding experienced by communities and roadways on Monday,” the opposition spokesperson said.

She further argued that Minister McKenzie had declared that parishes were ready for the hurricane season, yet no allocation was made to Municipal Corporations ahead of the season.

“This situation must be remedied without delay, as drain cleaning will minimise the impact of flooding from the already undersized municipal drainage systems,” Neita Garvey said.

According to Neita Garvey, her survey of Municipal Corporations indicated that only two were able to do any cleaning, utilising an Emergency Funds allocation.

In calling on the Minister to intervene immediately, Neita Garvey said, “It is important that the Ministry of Local Government provide the money promised in July to assist the Municipal Corporations in conducting preventative work and put parishes in a better position to manage the rest of the hurricane season and respond to resulting emergencies”.

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