Government to use $30 million to fight drought
The Government has allocated $30 million to truck water to several communities across the island that are experiencing shortages due to drought conditions.
Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, said the measure forms the first phase of the Government's response to the current dry spell affecting the parishes of St Catherine, Clarendon, St Elizabeth, St Mary and Portland.
The Met Office has issued drought alerts for sections of St Catherine, Clarendon, and St Elizabeth, and a drought watch for Portland.
McKenzie said the money would be provided to the Municipal Corporations in the parishes.
He said that the Government "has taken careful note of the situation not only in these parishes but across the island, and will be moving to ensure the continuation of normal economic and residential life".
He noted that the forecast for July to September is for higher than normal temperatures with lower than normal levels of rainfall.
McKenzie said that additional measures would be adopted by the Government if the situation get worse over the coming weeks.
"The Government is prepared to spend whatever we can to ensure that adequate water is provided not just for residential use, but also we have to take into consideration parishes like Manchester and St Elizabeth. These are critical to the economic growth of the country, in terms of being the parishes that are responsible for a significant portion of our food supplies," he said.