Holness backs storm funds boost
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has suggested that more funds be released at the beginning of the hurricane season so that sufficient preparation could be made to face possible weather systems.
Holness made the statement during Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives and confirmed a day-earlier Gleaner report that the preliminary flood bill from Tropical Storm Elsa was a little more than $803 million. At least 177 roads were affected.
The prime minister led a chorus of thanksgiving by parliamentarians who expressed relief that Jamaicans were spared any severe impact from Sunday’s flood rains.
It was reported that the southeastern sections of the island recorded the highest levels of rainfall, with Clarendon and St Catherine being the worst-affected parishes.
Holness reminded parliamentarians that it was still early in the hurricane season and warned the country to make the necessary preparations in the event the country had to face a more powerful weather system.
He urged members of parliament (MPs) to utilise sums allocated to them to carry out drain-cleaning works before the end of July.
But Manchester North West Member of Parliament Mikael Phillips urged the prime minister to allocate increased resources to parliamentarians for mitigation works in their constituencies.
He suggested that more funds be released at the beginning of the hurricane season so that sufficient preparation could be made to face possible weather systems.
Phillips noted that Elsa has shown that the country was not prepared for a major weather event.
In a quick response, the prime minister signalled that increased resources would be provided to MPs for mitigation works in their constituencies.
Malahoo Forte well after House fall
Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte has reportedly recovered from a fall during Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives.
Malahoo Forte tripped and fell close to the Speaker’s chair while St Andrew South West Member of Parliament Dr Angela Brown Burke was making her contribution to the debate on the report of the joint select committee on the Sexual Harassment Act, 2020.
Parliamentarians on both sides of the aisle ran to offer assistance to Malahoo Forte.
Brown Burke, who had paused during her presentation, was told by Speaker Marisa Dalrymple Philibert to continue.
However, Brown Burke noted that she would not proceed peradventure anyone believed she was “uncaring”.
Brown Burke suggested that the Speaker break for a few minutes while Malahoo Forte was being attended to.
The Speaker acquiesced.
The Gleaner understands that Malahoo Forte was taken to hospital for examination but was reportedly doing well.