19 May Activate the National Disaster Committee Now, says Arscott
Noel Arscott, Opposition Spokesman on Local Government and Community Development is calling on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to immediately activate the services of the National Disaster Committee and as Minister of Defence to also activate the services of the 3rd Battalion of the Jamaica Regiment.
The former Minister says based on information reaching him, the country is at the point or beyond where the Government should have activated all the requisite disaster services of ODPEM.
Arscott also said, “While some parishes have been affected more than others, there is no question if the entire island has been affected and so urgent help and assistance are needed in almost every parish.” “My information is that the majority if not all our rivers are in spate and some have overflowed their banks, placing lives and livelihood at stake and possibly by now, already lost.”
The Opposition spokesman believes that the country is already beyond a state of national disaster, as some communities are totally marooned; houses have been and continue to be washed away, roads, bridges and other major infrastructure have suffered serious damage, livestock and other agricultural crops have been lost and if we don’t act with dispatch to sure up and secure what we now can, we could find ourselves in a calamitous state.
“We must place lives and limbs at the top of our priority list and so all must be done to secure our people and to assure them of the state’s ability to come to their aid in a time of what now seems to be a national disaster, “ said the former minister.
The Member of Parliament has called for the National Irrigation Commission to urgently open its back-up channels to relieve flood waters from severely affected and connected communities. Arscott also said that he long with other Peoples National Party members, have been mobilizing relief supplies to assist those in need.