The National Works Agency (NWA) is putting the preparedness mechanisms in place in anticipation for an active hurricane season. The Agency is now excecuting works under the Government of Jamaica’s Pre-Hurricane Mitigation Programme. Just over $100 million has been allocated for the cleaning of critical drains and the de-bushing of identified corridors.
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA), this year marks the seventh consectutive year for an above-average hurricane season. Forecasts from experts also include a 60% probability of landfall in the Caribbean. Against this background, the NWA aims to move expeditously to commence works prioritizing areas suspectible to flooding due to torrential rainfall. With the approval process complete, works are being done across all 14 parishes.
Manager, Communication and Customer at the NWA, Stephen Shaw says the programme is targetting major gullies and drainage systems in traditional flood prone areas, in order to mitigate the impact.
Mr. Shaw says that among the drains being targeted are: sections of Boucher Gully, Columbus Drain and Tivoli Gully in Kingston; Cave Valley and Brown’s Town (Stanfast) in St. Ann; Boston and Folly to Boundbrook (Cemetery Lane) in Portland; Margaret Gutter in Westmoreland; drains along the Shettlewood to Mackfield roadway in Hanover and the Jackson Town to Ulster Spring roadway in Trelawny.
Mr. Shaw says works are also expected to be done in a section of North Gully in St. James, where a separate multimillion dollar contract is now being implemented for rehabilitative works. Drains in the community of Montpelier in St. James are also to be tageted under the cleaning programme.
The mitigation works are expected to be completed by the end of July and will be the first of three phases of activities to be executed by the NWA during this hurricane season.