Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the Administration has spent over $250 million, to date, to alleviate drought conditions across the island.
Mr. McKenzie was speaking at the World Town Planning Day 2018 Conference, which was held at the Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort and Spa in St. James on Thursday (November 8).
“We have built ‘water shops’ in Pennants, Clarendon; and Marlie Hill, in Manchester and several more will be constructed as we move to give residents in communities with drought conditions access to potable drinking water,” he said.
The water shop concept will see facilities being established to improve the availability of water in sections of the island that are constantly affected by drought.
McKenzie said the Government is aware that climate change is affecting the weather pattern in various parishes and is doing all that is possible to provide help for those affected.
“Prolonged drought in areas such as St. Elizabeth, Manchester, Portland, Clarendon and sections of St. Mary have seen conditions that they have not experienced in many years. This has forced the Administration to respond in whatever way we can,” the Minister added.
For his part, Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis, said climate change has been negatively impacting the Second City, and solutions must be found to combat this environmental issue.
“As a coastal township, Montego Bay continues to be impacted by this phenomenon (climate change) and the time is right for us all to take a long and hard look at the challenges and find workable solutions in the very near future,” Mayor Davis said.
The conference was held to commemorate World Town Planning Day, which highlights the accomplishments of planners and contributions they have made to their communities.
Held under the theme ‘Planning with Climate Change’, the conference saw presentations from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the Tourism Product Development Company Ltd. (TPDCo).