Mangroves in the Palisadoes, Port Royal protected area were removed by the National Water Commission, (NWC) in an effort to conduct repairs. Earlier this week, the Jamaica Environmental Trust, (JET) denounced the act demanding answers. The utility provider has since responded to the criticism.
The NWC is acknowledging their role in the excavation of mangroves along the Palisadoes main road, which they say could not be avoided.
The NWC explains in their statement shared with CVM Live, that the only way to have carried out the emergency repairs to the pipeline that serves approximately 1, 000 residents, as well as fifty other entities including hotels, government entities, and other small businesses, was to disturb the mangroves. The community has been without water since July 30.
Clearance of the mangroves was done without the required environmental permit from the National Environment Planning Agency, (NEPA) as shared by the Jamaica Environment Trust. This process is explained by JET’s CEO.
They note that several issues had to be weighed at the time including the pressing need of the customers to have the supply and the need to complete the repairs in an effective and efficient manner.
NWC was mindful of the disfiguration which they say was an undesirable result. Concerning replanting efforts, the NWC says they are committing to not only engage more with our environmental partners but is committed to replanting the disturbed mangroves so that they can be restored over time.
To prevent any further damage to the mangroves NWC has started the process of re-aligning the pipeline along the Palisadoes main road.
More in this CVM Live story from Jhanielle Powell: