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Government addresses heavy rainfall in Jamaica

FLOODED: Jamaica has been experiencing persistent rainfall since Saturday (May 15)

HON. DESMOND McKenzie, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, says the Government is assessing the full impact of the heavy rains that are currently affecting the island.

“The assessments continue right across the country. We made available to the Municipal Corporations yesterday (May 15) $175 million, and that was to be spent in the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester, Portland, St. Elizabeth, St. Thomas and Westmoreland,” the Minister said.

The minister spoke at a press briefing at Jamaica House this week to update the nation on action being taken by the Government to deal with the impact of the heavy rains lashing the island.

Mr. McKenzie informed that the Ministry is making arrangements to ensure that funding is provided to the St. Ann Municipal Corporation, because sections of the parish have been severely affected by flooding.

High Commissioner Seth George Ramocan also released a statement addressing the communities affected by the rainfall in Jamaica.

He said: My Fellow Jamaicans and Friends of Jamaica, pver the past few days our beloved country Jamaica has been experiencing persistent rainfall that has severely affected many communities across the island. The heavy rains have caused major infrastructural and agricultural damage, dislocation and closure of businesses.

I wish to advise that the Government is assessing the full impact of the heavy rains on the island. The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister, yesterday toured some of the areas which were severely affected. The Emergency Services have also been providing well needed support in the affected parishes. In addition, J$175million has been made available to the Municipal Corporations for the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester, Portland, St. Elizabeth, St. Thomas and Westmoreland.

The High Commission is closely monitoring developments in Jamaica and will provide an update as soon as a full assessment of the damage is released. It is my hope that your families were not badly affected and they remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Since Saturday (May 13), Jamaica has been dealing with heavy rainfall, which has impacted the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester, Westmoreland St. Elizabeth, St. Thomas, Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine, St. Mary, Portland and St. Ann.

This has caused numerous issues, including dislocation, severe infrastructural and agricultural damage.

McKenzie also informed the public that the Jamaica Fire Brigade and Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) have been working closely in rescuing more than 30 people.

He added that the Government is working closely with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to ensure “that we provide the necessary relief assistance to persons who have been affected by the inclement weather”.

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