PORT ANTONIO (JIS)
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on (November 29), assured residents of Port Maria in St. Mary of the full support of Government, as efforts continue to restore normality to the town, following the flooding caused by last week's torrential rains.
The assurance was given after Mrs. Simpson Miller toured the town to gain first hand knowledge of the effects of the disaster, which has negatively impacted commercial and social activities in the area.
Accompanying her on the tour were Minister of Local Government and Environment, Dean Peart; Minister of State in the Ministry, Harry Douglas and Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing, Transport, Water and Works, Dr. Fenton Ferguson.
Among the areas toured were the commercial sector of the town, the Port Maria Primary School and a number of homes affected by the flooding.
The visit also enabled the Prime Minister to be updated on the programme of assessment being conducted to ascertain the losses suffered by residents, as well as the relief assistance being provided.
At a press briefing, Mrs. Simpson Miller extended sympathy to the residents of the town, and informed them that the finding of investigations currently being conducted to determine the cause of the flooding, would form the basis of a report to be presented to Cabinet on Monday of next week.
She also stated that she was awaiting a report from the National Works Agency (NWA) to determine whether the flooding was caused by the new bridge built in the town.
Addressing residents at the end of the tour, the Prime Minister told them that she fully understood the difficulties they were experiencing and exhorted them to provide support for each other in this time of crisis.
She said that Dr. Ferguson had been given the responsibility to co-ordinate the assistance programme for the benefit of two residents of the area, who have lost their homes as a result of the flooding.
The Prime Minister stressed that there should be no partisanship or unfairness in the initial relief distribution process currently being carried out, and only persons in need should benefit from the exercise.
She added that a more detailed assessment of individual loss and damage was currently being conducted as a basis for the distribution of additional assistance for affected persons.