Sav adds backup emergency shelter after McKenzie's chidingFriday, July 23, 2021
BY DAINA DAVY
SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland — Following a chiding from Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie, deficiencies at the emergency shelter at Godfrey Stewart High School in Savanna-la-Mar have been corrected.
During his visit to the facility on July 15, McKenzie was visibly annoyed at the lack of adequate space and accessibility to senior citizens and the disabled as half of the designated rooms were on the second floor of the compound.
“This cannot be a shelter. We cannot have a shelter upstairs. This is not accessible to everybody,” a notably peeved McKenzie chided.
The visit to Savanna-La-Mar was in stark contrast to other stops across the island, where McKenzie had mostly high praise for the work done in ensuring that the emergency shelters were ready for use if needed during the ongoing 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
In responding to McKenzie's concerns, acting vice-principal of the school, Dwayne Sinclair, told him the problems outlined could be easily rectified.
On Monday, shelter Manager Oniel Jones told the Jamaica Observer that they have established a backup shelter at the Savanna-la-Mar New Testament Church of God, a one-story building located at nearby Lewis Street.
“We have about four rooms on the [ground floor] and we can use the upstairs rooms for able-bodied persons, and if that's not enough we can send persons to the church nearby,” Jones said.
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