19 May PNP CALLS FOR BI-PARTISAN COMMITTEE TO DESIGN DRAINAGE SYSTEM
People’s National Party President, Dr. Peter Phillips is calling for an island-wide disaster mitigation programme to be implemented immediately in light the severe flood damage from recent heavy rains and the onset of the 2017 Hurricane season.
The recent episodes, Phillips said cannot be overlooked as the world is faced with changing weather and climatic patterns, and the government must act swiftly to prepare the nation as best as possible for emergencies.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Old Hope Road, St Andrew headquarters, Phillips said a committee ought to be established to oversee the design of a national drainage system that will address the recurring issue of flooding island-wide. This committee, Phillips said, must be comprised of representatives of both major political parties, civil society representatives, as well as experts from Jamaica Institute of Engineers and the Master Builders Association.
According to the PNP president, the rehabilitation of infrastructural damage must be taken out of the hands of politicians and placed firmly under the management of an independent body similar to the Office of National Reconstruction which was constituted in 2004 by former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson after the Hurricane Ivan disaster.
Dr. Phillips said, the number of unplanned developments across the length and breadth of the island has overwhelmed the already fragile drainage system.
The problem is further compounded, Dr. Phillips said, by the failure of government to do timely remedial work on a sound non-partisan basis.