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McKenzie raises concern over Riverton fire

Published:Friday | February 17, 2012 | 12:30 PM

Desmond McKenzie, the Opposition Spokesman for Urban Renewal, Rural Development and Local Government, is claiming that political decisions were made by the Jamaican Government in fighting the fire at the Riverton City dump.

Speaking at a press conference at the Jamaica Labour Party headquarters a short while ago, McKenzie said the political decisions adversely impacted the fighting of the fire.

He pointed, for example, at the move to bring equipment from as far away as St Ann -- bypassing those in the Corporate Area – to work at the landfill.

McKenzie also charged that many persons who had expertise in fighting fire at the landfill were dismissed after the election.

He said at least seven of these people were middle managers.

In the meantime, McKenzie says the Opposition will be investigating how many people have been affected by the smoke associated with the fire with a view to securing compensation on their behalf.

He also said the Opposition is concerned that no steps have been taken by the Government to speak to people who have been affected by the fire at the dump.

The Government has already spent $25 million, but has budgeted $60 million to deal with the Riverton Fire.