Sun | Dec 3, 2023

Government to outline steps to combat bush fires

Published:Wednesday | March 8, 2023 | 5:12 PM
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (centre) Desmond McKenzie, with Dr Christopher Tufton (right), Member of Parliament for West Central St Catherine, and Mayor of Spanish Town (left) Norman Scott at the official commissioning of the Watermount Water Supply System in St Catherine on March 8, 2023. - Ruddy Mathison photo.

The Government will tomorrow outline measures that are to be undertaken to minimise the proliferation of bush fires.

Speaking at the official commissioning of the Watermount Water Supply System in St Catherine today, Local Government and Rural Development Minister Desmond McKenzie said the Jamaica Fire Brigade is seriously being impacted by bush fires and that the government will be moving to address the matter.

McKenzie said last week was one of the worse periods for bush fires in Jamaica.

"I want to make an appeal, it is in nobody's interest to burn any field or garbage that can start a bush fire right now," he said.

On the issue of water conservation amid ongoing drought conditions across Jamaica, the minister urged residents to desist from wasting the commodity.

"We can't water lawns anymore, can't wash motor vehicles because we don't have the water right now. We are going to be taking seriously anyone who takes steps to use water for other purposes outside of domestic," the minister warned.

He disclosed that the Ministry of Local Government will be allocating $60 million to respond to the drought crisis.

The funds will be channel through municipal corporations, McKenzie said.

He urged Jamaicans to become responsible citizens during this period of drought.

The Watermount Water Supply System comes after decades of a water crisis, which triggered several demonstrations by residents over the years.

The system was financed by Rural Water Supply Limited at a cost of $200 million.

It will be managed by the St Catherine Municipal Corporation.

- Ruddy Mathison

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