Opposition calls for immediate allocation for drain cleaning
Opposition Spokesperson on Local Government Natalie Neita Garvey is calling for Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie to provide municipal corporations with adequate funding from the Parochial Revenue Fund (PRF) to clean drains and address other infrastructure in the wake of flooding from Tropical Storm Ian.
In a statement this morning, Neita Garvey said that in July, the Ministry had asked the municipal corporations to establish a drain cleaning programme of $600,000 which, according to her, up to now has not been funded.
This programme, she said, should have been funded by PRF allocations, set aside in June and September.
The opposition spokesperson said that although September had not yet ended and funds were not yet ready, it was important that blocked drains be cleaned as the Atlantic Hurricane season is now at its peak.
She expressed that drainage failure and improper infrastructure were the leading causes of much of the flooding experienced by communities and roadways yesterday.
The local government spokesperson said the Minister had declared that parishes were ready for the hurricane season, yet no allocation was made to municipal corporations ahead of the season.
“This situation must be remedied without delay, as drain cleaning will minimise the impact of flooding from the already undersized municipal drainage systems,” she said.
Neita Garvey said her survey of municipal corporations indicated that only two were able to do any cleaning utilising an Emergency Funds allocation.
In calling for the Minister to intervene immediately, Neita Garvey said, “It is important that the Ministry of Local Government provide the money promised in July to assist the municipal corporations in conducting preventative work and put parishes in a better position to manage the rest of the hurricane season and respond to resulting emergencies.”
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