As Prime Minister Andrew Holness prepares to tell the country how the government will respond to the widescale damage to Jamaica’s roads following several days of heavy rains, a first time member of Parliament in Clarendon is calling for additional funds to be released for drain cleaning. MP for Clarendon South West Lothan Cousins says councillors were last month given funds to carryout drain cleaning work, however, members of Parliament received none. According to Mr. Cousins, several areas in his constituency were flooded, including Alley, Rasta Camp in Kemps Hill, Rock Road and St. Jago Road. He said first time members of Parliament have no resources to assist their constituents. “We are being given a basket to carry water by the government and government needs to do what is right, and what is right is to actually ensure that the members of Parliament and the powers that be, and the National Works Agency, and the parish council are put in a position where the resources are available to remedy the situation and to mitigate, because it don’t make no sense we come and clean the drains after the fact. The drains need to be cleaned before the fact. So we need to mitigate against the flood damages and the best way to do that is if resources are allocated,” he insisted. Prime Minister Holness will address the House of Representatives on the matter Tuesday afternoon. The repair bill for the damage left by the torrential rains is set to exceed $1 billion. Address Alley Bridge In the meantime, Mr. Cousins wants the National Works Agency to give urgent attention to the Alley bridge which has been reduced to single lane traffic. He said a permanent fix is needed. “There was a section of the bridge several years ago – more than 15 years now – that washed away and what has been done over the years, a temporary fix by the works agency. What is required now is a more long term fix where the concrete abutment needs to be sorted out and that section of the bridge that was washed away needs to be reinstated in the manner that it was before. Unless that is done, we’re going to continue to experience the same challenge over and over again. I mean, we need resources to be expended on the plains because the weather forecast is the same, it is not good. We are expecting more rainfall over the next couple a days and so…as you can imagine, the residents, are very concerned,” he asserted.
LINK ORIGINAL: RJR News