Rebuild MoBay - Bartlett wants some residents relocated

November 28, 2017
Roxanne Bennett sits on what remains of her house on King Street in Montego Bay, St James, after all her belongings were washed away in the flood rain.
Edmund Bartlett
Several vehicles were damaged as a result of the devastating flooding in Montego Bay, St James, last week.

If Edmund Bartlett has his way, hundreds, or possibly thousands, of persons would be relocated from Montego Bay to adjoining communities.

"We need, perhaps, to look at the lands around Montego Bay, in areas like Adelphi, Chatham, and Orange Valley, for redevelopment, so as to take off some of the pressure from Montego Bay," said Bartlett.

His comments followed last Wednesday's heavy rains, which triggered major flooding in sections of Montego Bay. Bartlett, who is the tourism minister and member of parliament for East Central St James, said consideration should be given to developing other areas of the parish to accommodate the persons in the flood-prone areas.

"The settlement arrangement in Montego Bay has been on the basis of informal development, and we need now to step back and take a good look at what Montego Bay must look like in the next 20 years and start to plan, restructure and reorganise," Bartlett said.

"Montego Bay was a sleepy little fishing village called Manteca, 'Bay of Lard', and then suddenly, tourism and great activities came and the place mushroomed. Now, it is a good time to step back and look at how to develop Montego Bay for the future," stated Bartlett.

The recent flooding, which was triggered by an islandwide trough, caused massive dislocation in Montego Bay, as several business places were flooded and houses washed away.

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