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Local Government Minister Commends Integrated National Effort Against Hurricane Matthew, Expresses Concern For Haiti

Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie, has commended all the partner Ministries, Agencies and volunteer organizations that worked tirelessly to ensure Jamaica’s preparedness for Hurricane Matthew.

At a news conference today, the Minister noted that great sacrifices have been made to prepare the country for the weather system, and that the levels of information-sharing and general preparedness were appropriate to the threat that Hurricane Matthew presented to the country.

“As a Government, we are very grateful that Matthew shifted from us and did not hit the country as projected. The Growth Agenda is crucial to this Administration’s plans to improve the lives of Jamaicans, and that was placed in great danger by the threat of the Hurricane. Let me also say that it is never possible to over-prepare for a weather system of this kind.”

The Minister also indicated that the normal processes of damage assessment and related reviews will be done as quickly as possible.

In response to concerns that had been raised about the manner in which allocations had been made for drain cleaning, the Minister made it clear that advances had been made from the Parochial Revenue Fund to Members of Parliament to facilitate this activity, an announcement he had made last Friday, after the initial meetings of the National Emergency Operations Centre.

Minister McKenzie also expressed great concern for the people of Haiti, who have been exposed to the fury of Hurricane Matthew. “We have been spared and we are thankful, but we all know that our brothers and sisters in Haiti can’t take much more in the way of battering from the elements. I am urging everyone who can, to make contributions to assist in the relief effort for Haiti, and I know the Government will also look into this matter.”