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Negril Chamber welcomes JHTA Negril chapter vote against breakwater project

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

WESTMORELAND, Jamaica – The Negril Chamber of Commerce has congratulated the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) Negril Chapter on its vote against the planned breakwater project.

The chamber, in a statement, said that it is satisfied that good sense prevailed among members of the JHTA chapter in the vote.

The Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) has granted approval for two offshore breakwaters to be built in the Long Bay area in Negril, Westmoreland. The NRCA has also granted the National Works Agency (NWA) Beach licences for the construction and maintenance of the structures.

The breakwaters will form part of a beach management strategy, to slow the pace of erosion of the Negril coastline by strengthening coastal protection.

However, the Negril Chamber of Commerce says the Government should consider an alternative to building a breakwater to resolve beach erosion issues in the Westmoreland resort town.

The chamber, which has long been in opposition to the project, has pointed to the case of breakwater failure in Sri Lanka, as one of the reasons why Government should not proceed with the project.

The JHTA Negril Chapter held a special meeting at the end of March at Couples Swept Away, to vote on the controversial project. There was a large turnout, with 43 eligible votes. The final count was 20 in favour of the project, and 23 against it.

 The Chamber of Commerce says that, while the vote was close, “it demonstrated that those who took the time to avail themselves of information on the project, are not convinced that there will be any tangible benefits”.

“The JHTA has now united with the wider Negril community – the Negril Chamber of Commerce, the Negril Cluster, the Negril Entertainment Association, the Westmoreland Hemp and Ganja Farmers Association, and numerous other stakeholders – in the stand against this project,” the Chamber added.

Balford Henry

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