Whenever it rains communities such as Swansea and Osbourne Store in Clarendon are seriously affected by flooding
May Pen, Clarendon:
Whenever it rains, communities such as Swansea and Osbourne Store in Clarendon are seriously affected by flooding. These communities are impacted by flood waters from the surrounding communities of Darlow and Rock, up in the hills of Mocho.
Hundreds of residents are sometimes displaced as their homes, churches and business places are literally under water.
In the event of heavy downpour, the residents' major concern is what will become of their homes, furniture, livestock and farms.
Councillor for the Toll Gate division Godfrey Knight said, understandably, the residents will have concerns because they have worked hard for their property and the thought of losing it all to flood waters is too much to bear.
One businesswoman in Osbourne Store said she has suffered losses as a result of flooding in the past. She recounted having to discard several bags of animal feed, food items and other haberdashery that were damaged when flood waters swept through her establishment. "My flour bucket was swimming in dirty water, I had to throw away all the food and animal feed I had here," she recalled of what she described as the last major flooding in the community in 2009.
She suggested that the solution to this major problem is consistent drain cleaning and maintenance.
In response, May Pen's mayor, Scean Barnswell, said regular de-silting and maintenance will help the situation. While noting that the communities of Osbourne Store and Swansea are part of the Vere Plains, he lamented that those low-lying areas will naturally catch the water coming down from the hills.
A representative of the National Works Agency says so far this year a few drains have been cleaned but it is far less than what needs to be done. He said the drains are simply inadequate to carry the
volume of water that is deposited there. He also suggested that improving drain infrastructure and putting in no-build zones are possible long-term solutions to the problem.