JDF DART team to lead post Hurrricane Beryl home rebuild

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Members of the JDF DART team

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The Disaster Assistance and Recovery (DART) team of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) will be taking the lead role in rebuilding houses that were destroyed by Hurricane Beryl in the parishes that suffered the most damage from the Category 4 system that impacted the island on July 3.

DART will be assisted by other JDF units, including the engineering corps.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement when he updated the country on Beryl’s impact and the government’s recovery efforts. He was speaking on Tuesday last in the House of Representatives.

Holness said the JDF teams will target areas such as Portland Cottage and Rocky Point in Clarendon where the housing stock was decimated.

“They will also be deployed in Hanover to assist with the recovery …particularly in the town of Negril and other areas coming around to Westmoreland,” the prime minister said. He explained that the deployment of JDF personnel in South East Clarendon will also spill over into areas of Manchester and St Elizabeth.

“The initiative aims not just to rebuild, but to rebuild stronger and more resilient homes that can withstand future storms,” said Holness.

“Our efforts will focus on durability and sustainability. We do not merely want to put up make-shift structures or patch up roofs in a way that leaves them vulnerable to the next storm,” he stated.

The prime minister said the government was exploring the use of drone technology to further fast-track the assessment of the damage to the housing stock. He emphasised that the administration will not be able to assist every person who has lost their home, however, he said it will ensure that the process is transparent and above board.

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