Bad land clearing leads to landslides - NWA

September 28, 2022
photo by Nicholas Nunes

The National Works Agency (NWA) is urging residents to be careful how they clear land for farming or building houses.

This follows several landslides triggered by the heavy rainfall associated with Hurricane Ian earlier this week.

In providing an update on the agency’s assessment of the storm’s impact on western Jamaica, Janel Ricketts, the community relations officer for the NWA’s western regional office, says that vegetation which holds soil together is often removed from hillsides during land-clearing activities.

In the long-term, this leads to land slippage, which can lead to property damage, or in a worst-case-scenario, loss of life.

“Even though we have state agencies responsible for different elements such as the main road network and the drainage system, citizens also have to be proactive for their own protection. This is in terms of how you clear areas for farming, especially along the hillside when you remove vegetation, but the vegetation helps to hold the soil together,” Ricketts stressed.

During the passage of the then-Tropical Storm Ian, communities in Trelawny, Hanover, and Westmoreland were among several across Jamaica which suffered landslides caused by rainfall associated with the storm.

Ricketts also noted that cleaning-up efforts are still ongoing at different drains across the western region and along the famed Elegant Corridor.

Christopher Thomas – BUREAU

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