Health Centre in Annotto Bay Among Critical Facilities Affected by Worsening Sea Level Rise

News post August 25, 2015

Published:Tuesday | August 25, 2015 Jodi-Ann Gilpin

The Annotto Bay Health Centre’s proximity to the sea

ANNOTTO BAY, St Mary:

A receding shoreline, approximately 15 feet away from The Annotto Bay Health Centre in St Mary, has sent a strong signal that the community continues to be severely impacted by sea-level rise, beach erosion and other consequences of climate change.

A visit to the eastern parish last week followed an article published in The Gleaner recently, which indicated that Annotto Bay and Morant Point, are Jamaican communities at risk of devastation by sea-level rise, a situation researchers at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, have linked to poor socioeconomic conditions that prevail.

The analysis carried out by the Mona GeoInformatics Institute, included poverty-implication mapping, which shows an urgent need for major investments to ease pressure on water resources. It also points to a need for proper housing development and attention to be given to other areas in the built and natural environments, as a matter of priority.

Veronica Hamilton, public health nurse at the health centre, could relate to the research, pointing out that the Annotto Bay beach front, situated close to the health facility, has her colleagues concerned about the devastation that could occur.

 

BEACH EROSION

 

“Since Hurricane Sandy (2012), we have watched the beach eroding and the sea level rising. I remember when this section (breakaway) used to be a walkway, and my colleagues and I always hear people saying that people used to even park their vehicles at sections around here as well. We are seeing the real impacts of climate change,” she said.

“It doesn’t require a hurricane to cause damage, a good shower of rain, and I’m sure we will be flooded out. I believe, as citizens, we are also seeing that climate change is not just a science, but it affects every area of our lives because, looking at how the beach has reduced, and how close it is to us, should there be a disaster, employment will be affected and, most important, residents of the community will have nowhere to go to receive health care,” Hamilton told The Gleaner.

She added: “I have done many tours and nothing has been done. I am aware that some aspects of what is taking place is a natural process of climate change, but since Sandy came a couple years ago, it keeps getting worse, even though the relevant agencies have visited.”

Devon Davis, a resident of Annotto Bay, who lives close to the beach, told The Gleaner that the situation is scary.

“I live here for over 30 years now, and I was one of them who had to move elsewhere because the water tek mi over,” he said.

“Mi memba all when mi a boy and mi used to walk round and sell sweetie, because all of this area was land. It was a nice recreational area, we use to have dance out here more time, whole heap a shop and coconut tree use to out here but di water look like it waa the place fi himself,” he said.

 

CARIBBEAN AT RISK

 

The general Caribbean is at risk, as scientists say sea levels has been rising, on average, at a rate of 0.14 inches (3-5 millimetres) per year since the 1990s.

But even a small rise in the sea level can have a devastating impact on coastal communities, since it can cause flooding of wetlands and farm lands, and also contaminate aquifers or groundwater.

In addition, higher sea levels result in bigger, more powerful storm surges that can strip away everything in their path when they make landfall.

Dr Ava Maxam, climate-change expert and deputy director, Mona GeoInformatics Institute, commenting on the situation, noted that sea-level rise, in addition to other climate-change impacts, is becoming more widespread.

“Sea-level rise is gradual and sometimes it may be difficult to pinpoint what is really happening, and people might still see it as a mere concept. However, the science is there, over many decades, and is now showing that this (climate change) is what is happening to us and is real,” Maxam said.

“We have conducted several workshops and various community groups have been voicing concerns about erosion and what might be described as spinoffs from what is sea-level rise. People are beginning to see climate change in a real way because it is at our doorsteps, roads and critical building facilities.”

published by The Gleaner.

No Tags

193 total views, 1 today

  

Leave a Reply

  • Will Cameron Speak On Reparation?

    by on September 29, 2015 - 0 Comments

    In pic: Prime Minister David Cameron. Olivia Grange said she believes Cameron would consider it unusual to be visiting Jamaica at this time in history and have extensive discussions with top government officials and not have the subject of reparation raised at some point. The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is questioning whether the Government will […]

  • Penalise politicians who provide service on a partisan basis ­ — Meadows

    by on January 26, 2016 - 0 Comments

    JLP caretaker calls for action as Trelawny residents take to the street Placard-bearing residents gather at a section of the Salt Marsh to Goodwill main road yesterday to protest against the poor road conditions in the area.  SALT MARSH, Trelawny — Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) caretaker for Trelawny Northern Dennis Meadows yesterday called for laws […]

  • Constable Crystal Thomas

    by on July 16, 2015 - 0 Comments

    She fought to the end | Lead Stories | Jamaica Gleaner Woman Constable Crystal Thomas Norman Grindley Senior Superintendent of Police Cornwall ‘Bigga’ Ford (right) escorts National Security Minister Peter Bunting, who visited the Denham Town Police Station in west Kingston, to get an update after the murder of woman Constable Crystal Thomas, who was […]

  • http://www.insightjamaica.com/

    by on July 4, 2015 - 0 Comments

    You can post your add here for free.

  • Singjay J Capri dies

    by on December 4, 2015 - 1 Comments

    KINGSTON, Jamaica — Sources have confirmed that singjay J Capri, who was hospitalised for more than a week following a motor vehicle crash, has died. The entertainer reportedly succumbed to her injuries this morning at the University Hospital of the West Indies in St Andrew. Read: J Capri hospitalised after car crash Social media users on […]

Follow Us on Facebook