Government is to spend $20 m in the first instance, to retrofit community centres and select schools in six parishes, and reduce the number of shelters from nine hundred, to seven hundred.
Local Government Minister, Desmond McKenzie, says the parishes to benefit from this new initiative are St. Ann, St. Mary, Clarendon, St. Catherine, Portland and St. Thomas.
He says special attention is needed in Cave Valley and Douglas Castle in St. Ann, Sunny-side in St. Catherine, as well as, several other areas as it relates to having proper shelters.
Mr. McKenzie says, of the nine hundred shelters identified by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) 95 percent are schools, and the remaining five percent consists of community centres and churches.
He says the current number of shelters is far too many to manage, and does not require that many given the geographic landscape, coupled with the country’s population.
He was speaking at a special meeting with disaster coordinators and public relations officers from the 16 municipal corporations, held at the Hyatt Ziva Hotel in Montego Bay, earlier today (July 5).