Tue | Aug 3, 2021

Nearly $25 million for persons affected by Riverton fires

Published:Wednesday | June 23, 2021 | 3:12 PM
A view from Plantation Heights in St Andrew showing the silhouette of the Kingston Wharf with thick smoke coming from a fire at the Riverton dump in March 2015 – File photo.

Nearly $25 million will be paid out to 21 persons who successfully brought claims against the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NWSMA) for personal and other damages suffered as a result of fires at the Riverton Waste Disposal Site in 2012 and 2015.  

Over $4.5 million will go to persons who sustained injuries as a result of a fire at the dump, which started on February 5, 2012. 

“The fire lasted several days and the smoke abatement process lasted approximately 17 days. Thick persistent smoke had resulted in toxic fumes blanketing entire communities in the parishes of St Catherine, St Andrew and Kingston and produced a nuisance to several communities,”  Minister of Information, Fayval Williams, informed at today's post-Cabinet press briefing.

The claimants sustained personal injuries, loss or damages, and incurred expenses as a result of the fire.

They took legal action and it was found that the NSWMA had breached its obligation under the National Solid Waste Management Act 2001 by failing to take the necessary steps for the effective management of solid waste at the Riverton in order to safeguard public health.  

And Williams disclosed that more than $20 million will be paid to those who suffered damages arising from a fire at the dump on March 07, 2015.

The claimants filed applications through their attorneys arguing that on or around March 7, 2015, a fire was ignited at Riverton, consuming much of the facility and continued until on or around March 29, 2015.

The claims were filed on February 7, 2019.  

- Nadine Wilson-Harris 

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