The People’s National Party is expressing its solidarity and deepest sympathy with the people of Montego Bay as they recover from a devastating calamity. The Party notes the many residents, students and business owners who have been affected by this disaster, especially so close to the Christmas and exam season. The Party is calling on residents to not spare efforts in ensuring their safety and hopes that normalcy will return soon.
The Party notes that the Government has, over the last year, spent an unprecedented sum of money on drain cleaning and bushing of roads. It is therefore puzzling as to why this large spend has not resulted in better mitigation of flooding, as happened in Montego Bay yesterday, and recently in Portland. Shadow Minister of Transport and Works, Mikael Phillips said that “there has to be more accountability in how state resources are spent. We can’t be increasing the spending on these issues yet when it is put to the test we have these devastations. The public needs to be assured that the allocated sums are spent for the purposes they were allocated and that there is value for the money spent.” Mr Phillips is calling on the Government to take disaster mitigation seriously and put measures in place to deal with these increasing occurrences. He notes that a comprehensive programme and policy is what is needed, and not a piecemeal effort.
The Party President, Dr Peter Phillips is reiterating his call for restoration and rehabilitation efforts, in situations like this, to be non-political and inclusive so that the widest cross-section of affected persons can be assisted. He says the Party stands ready to assist in any way the Government sees fit.
A team from the Party, led by Dr Wykeham McNeill, Mikael Phillips and Dr Angela Brown-Burke, will tour the flood ravaged areas of Montego Bay and make some recommendations as to how we move forward to ensure the lives of the people are brought back to as normal as possible.