Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Shoreline protection wall planned for Kingston waterfront not enough - JET

Published:Thursday | December 8, 2016 | 11:59 AM
Kingston waterfront.

The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) says the planned construction of a shoreline protection wall on the Kingston waterfront to safeguard the headquarters of the foreign ministry from storm surges does not address the main risk of sea level rise.

On Tuesday, a Cabinet document tabled in the Parliament said a $103 million contract has been approved for Nakash Construction and Equipment Company to build a 90-metre sheet pile wall in the vicinity of lot number 20 Port Royal Street where the ministry will be located. 

The document said a feasibility study before the construction shows that coastal revetment work and storm surge protection civil works are necessary to protect the building.

A revetment is a retaining wall built to protect a seawall against erosion by wave action, storm surge and currents.

However, JET's chief executive officer, Diana McCaulay said rising sea levels is a major concern for buildings on the waterfront and the information released so far does not show any effort to address those risks.

She also says the risk of storm surge on the waterfront is low because of the protection from the harbour.


JET CEO, Diana McCaulay

A sum of $666 million has been set aside in the Budget to carry out the construction of the foreign affairs ministry in downtown  Kingston.

The ministry now uses rented property in New Kingston.

The Government is hoping that the relocation will contribute to the  redevelopment of downtown Kingston.

The project is being implemented by the ministry through funding from Government of Jamaica and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.