Wed | Jan 23, 2019

JIS twisting truth on Negril breakwaters

Published:Monday | November 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM


I am well aware that the JIS is the outlet for whichever government is in power. However, I object strongly when the truth is not just twisted but also completely distorted.

In the National Works Agency (NWA) breakwater meeting held on November 10, 2014, I took to task the NWA for printing material stating that the breakwater would accrete 13.5 metres of sand per annum over 80 per cent of Long Bay. This would amount to just over 44 feet of sand per year on a three-mile section of a beach that is five miles long. Who will gain beach and who will lose theirs? Is this a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul?

The NWA representative assured me that it was possibly a typographical error, yet still the JIS announced, "The Negril project is expected to reduce erosive wave action, protect the coastline and allow for beach accretion." The environmental impact assessment says only 1.5 miles of Long Bay should be moderately protected by these large 'boulderamas' they wish to build. We would like to know where the sand to accrete will be coming from, as every study says sand production in Negril is low. Is the sand coming from the other 3.5 miles of the beach that is not being moderately protected?

It is unconscionable that a defunct NGO is quoted, whereas there is no mention of the chairman and most of the directors of the Negril Chamber of Commerce, many JHTA members and Rotary members expressing their unbridled anger and concern that NWA is asking NEPA/NRCA to approve the breakwater project without having adequate expertise nor a coastal engineer on their team.

We have constantly supplied information on all the most up-to-date alternatives that exist, especially from the experts in Holland, but alas, NEPA has closed its doors to any innovative ideas and continues to push for the most destructive option and the one that will use local contractors for this project.

The NWA stated that a project of this size has never been done in Jamaica before, so who will really benefit?



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