Mount Olivet Boys’ Home to rebound after Hurricane Beryl’s impact

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Mount Olivet Boys’ Home in Manchester is looking to rebound from the damage, losses and other dislocation sustained during Hurricane Beryl’s passage as a powerful category four system,  south of Jamaica, on July 3.    Hurricane Beryl’s onslaught downed utility poles and trees, which disrupted water, electricity and internet services, and blocked roadways in several communities, which interrupted commercial activities among other routine daily engagements.    

Among the affected are children in private/state care institutions, such as the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home.  

Board chair and interim director, Sophia Morgan said that proactive measures were undertaken to safeguard the Home and its occupants and staff.

These included repairing and replacing broken windows, treating harvested water, carefully securing documents and files, disposing of loose items and securing animals.

Morgan said while the newly built structure largely held up well to withstand the gale-force winds and heavy rainfalls, sections of the building now require extensive repairs.

“We had some water damage [to the property and] we are currently without power as two poles that host the JPS (Jamaica Public Service) line and the transformer fell [during the storm],” she informed.

“The ceiling in two rooms were damaged, so we had to relocate the boys to other rooms [and] currently they are still relocated. Our administrative building had some flooding [so] we need to effect some major repairs… because right now we have had to put blocks on the roof to bolster it. In relation to the dorm, we had leakage from the roof, so there are some areas of the decking that need to be sealed,” Morgan outlined.

Additionally, the administrators are now faced with the task of rebuilding the Home’s greenhouse where yellow bell peppers were cultivated, which they supplied to farms, supermarkets and the wider community to generate income for the privately operated facility.   

“Our greenhouse was decimated. The covering, the mesh, the plastic and the sweet pepper crop… we have lost those,” Ms. Morgan stated.Her greatest concern now is the likelihood of mass food spoilage if power is not restored to the Home soon.

“Given the devastating effects of the hurricane to our powerlines and the grid in the area, we are fearful that we will be out of power for a while. So right now, we are in desperate need of a generator. We are also in need of potable water and snacks for the residents,” Morgan informed.

While the board chair is thankful that there was no loss of lives, she said the Home needs much help to get back on track.  

They have, so far, received assistance from the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands and the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), as well as a pledge of support from Food For the Poor.