Residents of four parishes, who were adversely affected by the recent heavy rains that lashed the island, causing severe flooding in some areas, will soon receive assistance to recover part of their losses.
Addressing yesterday's (December 11) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Minister of Information and Development, Donald Buchanan explained that Cabinet has taken a decision to offer assistance to the victims of the flooding in St. Thomas, St. Mary, Portland and St. Ann.
"The level of assistance to be offered will be $30,000 for those who have had their houses totally destroyed; those who have had the structure of their houses damaged, but not destroyed, $20,000; and for those with minor house damage and the loss of household effects, $10,000," the Minister explained.
The total amount approved by Cabinet is $10.5 million, to be distributed among 1,003 families in the affected parishes.
In St. Thomas, one house was totally destroyed. In Portland another house was also completely destroyed, while two sustained structural damage, and five had damage and loss of household effects.
Meanwhile, in St. Ann, 10 houses suffered structural damage and 24 sustained minor damage as well as loss of household effects. In St. Mary, one house was totally destroyed, 30 sustained structural damage and 929 received minor damage and loss of household effects.
"This is an assistance that is being offered by the Government and it is not seeking to accept full responsibility for the restoration of either the houses or the household effects for the persons affected, but the government felt that in the circumstance, it was the proper thing to do - to offer some level of assistance," Mr. Buchanan said.
He pointed out that instructions have already been given to the Ministries of Labour and Social Security, and Local Government and Environment to "immediately deal with this matter".