The cost of damage sustained by parochial infrastructure during the recent heavy rains has been estimated at over $100 million.
This was disclosed by Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon Desmond McKenzie, who said: “We are expecting that once the rain subsides and more assessment is undertaken, that we will see an increase in that number.”
The rainfall resulted from a system that developed prior to the start of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season, on June 1.
The Minister was speaking during Wednesday’s (June 14) post-Cabinet Press Briefing at Jamaica House.
Mr. McKenzie informed journalists that the parishes of St. Elizabeth, St. James and Clarendon recorded the greatest damage to roadway infrastructure.
Portland, St. Thomas, Hanover, Manchester, Trelawny, St. Mary, Westmoreland and sections of Kingston and St. Andrew were also impacted.
“It (the estimated cost of damage) is something that we are prepared for. The Ministry will be able to find the funds to assist in undertaking restoration work, to get most of those roadways that have been impacted back into working condition,” Minister McKenzie said.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts that the six-month-long hurricane season will be active until November 30.
Against that backdrop, Minister McKenzie informed that funds for drain cleaning have been allocated to all Members of Parliament.
“The Municipal Corporations, as is customary, would use their Parochial Revenue Fund (PRF) allocation for the month of June [for drain cleaning]. So, whatever allocations go to the Municipal Corporations for May into June, that is used for all divisions across the country for [the] drain-cleaning exercise,” he said.
Minister McKenzie advised that allocations will continue to be phased in throughout the rest of the season.