Nine markets are to be renovated under Phase One of an island-wide market beautification programme, to be spearheaded by the Department of Local Government.
The markets are: Constant Spring, in St. Andrew; Ocho Rios and St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann; Buff Bay and Port Antonio, Portland; Oracabessa and Annotto Bay, St. Mary; Falmouth, Trelawny; and Lucea, Hanover. All the markets being renovated will be painted in the national colours – Black, Green and Gold.
Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government Reform, Hon. Robert Montague (stooping), paints a spot at the Constant Spring Market, in St. Andrew, symbolising the official launch of an islandwide market beautification programme, today (November 29). At left is Deputy Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Lee Clarke.
Speaking at the project’s launch at the Constant Spring Market, today (November 29), State Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague said the initiative forms part of efforts to beautify market facilities over the next few weeks, to make them more conducive to doing business.
He pointed out that refurbishing of the Constant Spring Market is expected to cost just under $2 million, and that all the markets should be completed by December 15.
The State Minister informed that solar panels will be installed at the facilities as energy and cost saving measures, adding that “we have realised that the cost of electricity impacts heavily on the cost of operating the market.”
“We will also be patching the roadway at the back of the Constant Spring Market and we will also be installing two extractor fans,” he noted.
Mr. Montague said that early next year, other markets on the island’s South Coast will be refurbished.
He urged vendors and customers to protect the facilities after the works have been completed, and informed that the Local Government Department will be collaborating with the Jamaica Fire Brigade, the National Solid Waste Management Authority, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, to ensure that the facilities are well kept, so that both vendors and customers will feel comfortable when using the markets.
Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government Reform, Hon. Robert Montague (second right), inspects an orange at the stall of vendor, Alberta Palmer (right), at the launch of an islandwide market beautification campaign, at the Constant Spring Market, in St. Andrew, today (November 29). To Mr. Montague’s right is Deputy Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Lee Clarke.
Project Officer, Carl Drummond, informed that the markets were chosen based on their location and the immediate need for repairs.
He said that focus will be placed on five areas – roofing; painting; electrical and plumbing works; and infrastructural works.
“This project is one of national interest and it is expected to generate pride in the hearts of the people, especially those who operate in these facilities. It is hoped that persons will assist in the caring of the facilities to ensure that they will be sustained to meet the needs of the vendors and the general public,” he said.
In her remarks, President of the Jamaica Higglers Association, Rosalee Hamilton said the support being given to vendors is critical.
The launch of the project forms part of activities in celebration of Local Government Month, being observed in November.