KSAMC reports $530-million damage to public infrastructure

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) is reporting that  preliminary estimates indicate that $530 million is needed to repair public infrastructure in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl. 

Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Andrew Swaby, provided details during Tuesday’s monthly meeting at the corporation’s chambers in downtown Kingston

“We start this month’s council meeting by giving thanks to the Almighty for saving us from what could have been a major catastrophe. Despite the devastation experienced across the island, Hurricane Beryl could have done far more damage,” he said.

The mayor said that assessments suggest that Kingston and St Andrew fared reasonably well in terms of damage to infrastructure. 

He said so far, at least one-lane access has been restored to most communities affected by blockage of roads. 

“There are also reports of roofs being taken off by the strong winds; thankfully there weren’t many reports of flooding as in the past. There were also reports of gully walls collapsing in a few urban divisions,” the mayor noted. 

“Preliminary estimates suggest that recovery cost on our public infrastructure is about $530 million. These include damage to roadways, drainage network, landslides, blocked drains, public buildings and other infrastructure that fall under the remit of the KSAMC,” the mayor said.

He urged service providers to restore electricity and water as quickly as possible to residents who have been without the services since the passage of the hurricane.

“While I appreciate the work being done by the Jamaica Public Service and the National Water Commission, I am also mindful that there are still a number of communities that are without light and water. I implore these agencies to have these services restored as quickly as possible,” he said.

The mayor indicated that critical meetings were held prior to the passage of the hurricane to assess the state of readiness of the corporation as well as critical State agencies.

He further shared that the temporary shelter for the homeless located at 34-42 Church Street was reactivated and several homeless persons were removed from the streets prior to hurricane conditions impacting the island. 

“We also utilised additional bed spaces at the Denham Town Golden Age Home, the Desmond McKenzie Transitional Centre, Marie Atkins Night Shelter and Good Samaritan Inn,” he said.

He said the development of Hurricane Beryl underscores the need to always be prepared for natural disasters, particularly as it relates to climate change and global warming.  

The mayor extended condolences to families who lost loved ones, both locally and overseas, during the passage of the hurricane and wished for speedy restoration efforts.