Cabbrina Lennox, Gleaner Writer
PORT MARIA, St Mary:
SCORES OF residents who were affected by the passage of Hurricane Sandy on Sunday voiced their concerns at a community meeting put on by the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) as part of the company's recovery programme.
Held under the theme 'Leading with Action', representatives from the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) and the National Water Commission (NWC) were also present to answer questions/concerns raised by the residents, most of whom were affected by the hurricane and the flooding in the town of Port Maria on Saturday.
"Hurricane come and push way mi house completely, the whole place tear down. Water mash up mi whatnot, TV, DVD, and mi component set. Everything bad, a destruction on mi right now, a kotch mi kotch up one little part and a gwaan stay there till better come," said Michael Salmons of Annotto Bay.
Member of Parliament Dr Morais Guy sought to reassure residents that their plights were being addressed and relief would come soon.
"The Government commissioned a Stanley consultant to do a flood survey for Port Maria and Annotto Bay, with the view of doing something about the reoccurring flooding. They have presented a draft report and we are going to be looking at it to see how best we can deal with some of the recommendations," Dr Guy said.
He said the National Works Agency would be doing an additional river training exercise by building groins along the wall of the river to prevent water from coming into the town of Port Maria.
"Because Port Maria is at sea level, we have to be looking at numerous way to prevent blocking up of the drains and keep the water off the road. This will help to prevent flooding. We'll have less dislocation of the businesses in Port Maria and we'll have less spoilage of food. Thus, we'll have more economic returns," said Dr Guy.
Meanwhile, Chris Hind, chief executive officer of JN General Insurance Company Ltd, said the idea of paying insurance premiums to most people seems challenging, but, in the event of a disaster, it works out to be more profitable.
"In the eastern parishes, the damage is much more severe. Unfortunately, many of the people who suffered the worst damage do not have insurance. So it falls on the government agencies," he said.
JNBS General Manager Earl Jarrett encouraged persons to save and dispose of their garbage properly.
"We want to encourage the community to take action; we have to begin to take some greater responsibility for the outcome in our community as individuals and as a community.