Jamaica: the drivers of flooding - pollution and land selection

Source(s): Jamaica Observer, the

By Trevis Morgan


Floodwaters from hurricanes Michelle, Charlie, Ivan, Dean, and Sandy; as well as tropical storms Nicole and Gustav, left the population of Jamaica nursing wounds caused by loss of and damage to property. This is compounded by interruption to communication networks, utilities, among others services. Understanding the associated struggles caused by flooding from these recent systems has heightened the call for Jamaicans to understand their fundamental role in the protection of life and property, and so attention must be given to pollution and land selection as it relates to flooding.




Research has confirmed the role of pollution in flooding. Drains can't channel floodwaters while they are clogged by debris/garbage from human activities. Hence, more focus is required on the practice of proper garbage disposal.

​[Jamaica] need[s] to mobilise [its] efforts to ensure [its] drains are kept clean. The economic cost of flooding is far more expensive than the cost of keeping them clean.


Land selection


Importantly, land selection is as much a commercial issue as it is residential. Some businesses are severely impacted by floodwaters owing to their location. Some sites are not ideal to erect neither businesses nor settlements, particularly because of the topography that exists in that area. Water flows from highland to lowland and unknowingly erecting a structure in the direct path of where water flows will prove detrimental.

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Hazards Flood
Country and region Jamaica
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