Posted on November 7, 2023
Member of Parliament (MP) for St Andrew Western, Anthony Hylton, is pleading with the authorities to allocate the funds necessary to dredge the Duhaney River to prevent another major flooding event in the New Haven community.
The river was last dredged in 2007.
“We cannot afford for another citizen to climb out of bed into a pool of water, slide and break his or her shoulder. We cannot afford for another senior citizen to get pneumonia being escorted out of bed in the rain to seek alternative shelter, and we certainly cannot afford for another child to die before the Duhaney River is dredged and the issues at Six Miles, which prevent the free-flow of water from the Fresh Water River, Duhaney River and Washington Boulevard drains, are addressed,” said Hylton.
He was speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday as he made his contribution to the State of the Constituency Debate.
He described the situation in New Haven as a complex one that was “not simply about persons squatting on or near a river bank for several decades. It is also a symbol of many of the social-ills that plague our societies at this time. It includes rampant criminality, lack of enforcement of our laws, lack of affordable housing, and under investment in our physical infrastructure,” said Hylton.
The MP said his representation on behalf of the citizens of New Haven has been continuous and directed at those in Government who can and should allocate the resources to alleviate the plight of the people in the community.
He said this should be the case, particularly for those residents who purchased their lands from developers who were given permission to subdivide and sell the lands to unsuspecting individuals “decades before I became Member of Parliament.”
Elaborating, he said: “These people are now left to have their personal belongings and their homes damaged by water every time it rains in the hills and they are unprepared for the rush of water while they sleep. The law-abiding people of New Haven should not be left to the mercy of mother nature and the lack of urgency on the part of Government to fix a wrong that they (the people) had little or no part in creating,” Hylton said.
He noted that the Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Works, Everald Warmington, has recently promised to have the National Works Agency (NWA) define the scope of the problem with a view to dredging the river.
“The people of New Haven and I await the commencement of that exercise with great anticipation,” said Hylton.