Saturday | February 28, 2015

No relocation for Chigwell residents

Published:Wednesday | October 27, 2010
Fourteen-year-old Novel Sawyers (left) and his friend, Kemar Barrett, 13, have made a raft to traverse the flood waters in their hometown of Chigwell in Hanover. The community has been battling rising water levels since late September when heavy rains from Tropical Storm Nicole lashed the island. - photo by Nagra Plunkett

WESTERN BUREAU:

Mayor of Lucea, Lloyd Hill, yesterday said there were no plans to relocate the residents of Chigwell in East Hanover, despite the rising water in the community since Jamaica was lashed by rainfall associated with what became Tropical Storm Nicole late September.

Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday, following a parish development forum held in Lucea, Hill said the residents, some of whom had farms in the community, had not expressed an interest in leaving because they believe the water will eventually recede. He noted that the situation is the worst it has been in 30 years.

"There is no point to provide somewhere where people don't want to go," said the mayor.

Hill said two shelters have been activated, but are currently unoccupied. He noted that some residents have instead been staying with family members and friends.

The mayor told The Gleaner that the communities of Pearces Village and Forrest were also affected during the heavy rains, adding that they were not as bad as Chigwell, where the water is constantly rising. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management has provided boats to assist residents to move in and out of the community. However, the situation is, nonetheless, untenable for the residents, who are not able to commute at will.

Meanwhile, Hill said efforts were made to assist the residents with food. He, however, noted that it was not enough. As such, he has appealed to Pearnel Charles, minister of labour and social security, to assist in providing food and other amenities to the residents.