Jamaica cement shortage taking its toll

Jamaica cement shortage taking its toll
Published: 18 May 2006

Construction industry leaders appealed to the Jamaican government to help resolve a cement shortage, saying it has idled construction and cost jobs. "We have to find a solution to get product here in the shortest possible time to meet the imbalances we face," Hardware Merchants Association President Errol Salkey said Tuesday.

Jamaica has seen a significant drop in cement distribution since February, when the country’s main supplier, Caribbean Cement Company Ltd, recalled some 500t of faulty product. Wesley Hughes, of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, said the shortage has caused several construction sites to shut down and put some workers out of a job.

Officials said the shortage was not affecting construction on the Sabina Park and Greenfield stadiums, which will host matches for next year’s Cricket World Cup. Said Christopher Smith, project manager for the Cup’s local organizing committee: "We have no problems, both sites are being adequately supplied."