Eroding shoreline threatens Annotto Bay Health Centre
Councillor calling for swift action to eliminate dangerSunday, October 23, 2016
BY RENAE DIXON Observer staff reporter email@example.com
COUNCILLOR for the Annotto Bay Division in the St Mary South East constituency, Dane Golding, is urging local authorities to address concerns raised by residents and workers at the Annotto Bay Health Centre because of an eroding shoreline, which he says is posing a threat to the facility.
"It cannot be too soon. If we get any storm at all, the place will be flooded," Golding told the
Jamaica Observer North East following the monthly meeting of the St Mary Parish Council recently.
He argued that once there is a high tide the facility faces the threat of being flooded and pointed to the recent threat of Hurricane Matthew to the island, which saw a section of the sea coming onto the property.
"If the storm had hit us directly the other day, the clinic would have been flooded," Golding said.
With the sea now metres away from the health centre, the councillor also pointed out that a storm could wreak havoc on the facility.
"It is about 12 feet away from the building when it is calm, so imagine when there is a storm," he said.
He suggested that large boulders be used to restore the sea wall and provide protection, while noting that a regular concrete wall will prove futile.
Additionally, the councillor said that the septic tank at the facility was already being affected by the sea. This was confirmed by chief public health inspector for St Mary, Albert Brown.
Brown said with the erosion the sewage system at the facility is affected, with waste now being produced possibly going into the sea.
Golding said he visited the property a few weeks ago with officers from the National Works Agency who are looking at ways to remedy the situation, but suggested that there was little urgency.
"We need to protect it," Golding said. He noted that approximately 20 communities in and around Annotto Bay, including communities in Portland, are served by the facility which operates every day each week.
Golding also said he has appealed to state minister with responsibility for works in the Office of the Prime Minister, Everald Warmington to address the problem and said that he has been promised that it will be addressed with urgency.
"I will do anything to protect it," he said.
He also pointed out that the roadway to the property is flooded whenever it rains, however, while he wants that problem to be addressed, Golding said "the immediate problem is the sea, because it may destroy the health centre".