Prime Minister Andrew Holness, has instructed that the Drought Management Committee meet weekly and provide Cabinet with updates, in light of the current meteorological drought being experienced across the country.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Matthew Samuda, provided details during a press briefing yesterday at Jamaica House.
Mr. Samuda said the Committee, which comprises representatives of the Meteorological Service, Water Resources Authority (WRA), National Water Commission (NWC), the National Irrigation Commission (NIC), Rural Water Supply Company, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), will update Cabinet as it relates to rainfall.
The Minister added that other key stakeholders include the Ministry of Health and Wellness, in order that efforts to monitor the quality of water in trucks and the appropriate sterilisation of these units can be heightened.
Meanwhile, the Minister is assuring the public that all entities dealing with water will ensure that they open special lines for persons to make contact and highlight any problems they may be having.
And the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is providing an additional 110-million dollars to support farmers affected by the meteorological drought.
Agriculture Minister Pearnel Charles Jr. made the announcement during a press briefing held at the Office of the Prime Minister Friday.
He says so far the Ministry has spent $90 million in terms of trucking and other forms of support and another $110 million is now being activated to provide support to farmers across the country
The Minister says through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the Agro-Investment Corporation (AIC), the Ministry has provided trucking at a cost of $20 million dollars.
In addition, a 4,000-gallon truck will be purchased to support the Ministry’s fleet, and ten water harvesting pods have been completed, with five more to be added.
He says the Ministry will also continue to provide seeds to assist farmers, while supporting them through the production stages, including the provision of mulch.