JIS News

A contract valued at $125 million for the rehabilitation of the final 20 parochial roads under the European Union (EU) stabex grant and the Parish Infrastructure Development Programme (PIDP), was signed today by the Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Sports, and the Kingston and St. Andrew and St. Catherine Parish Councils. Repairs are scheduled to begin February 16 and should last for four months.
Eight roads measuring 16.8 kilometres are slated for repair in St. Catherine under the EU Stabex grant at a cost of $65.6 million, inclusive of the Wood Hall, Grateful Hill, Bullet Tree, John Crow Spring, Kentish, Thetford, Nightingale Grove and Wallens roads.
In Kingston and St. Andrew, 12 roads measuring 9.9 kilometres are slated for rehabilitation under the PIDP at a cost of $59.4 million. The roads are – Third Avenue, Oakland Drive, Chester Avenue, Bertram Lane, Sangster Crescent, Bowrey Road, Oxford Street, Housing Drive, Claremont Drive, Lunar Drive, Brooks Level Road and the Car Hill Road.
Local Government, Community Development and Sports Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, who signed on behalf of the Ministry, pointed out that the Stabex grant, which was currently valued at over $450 million and was for the rehabilitation of 56 roads, has had a tremendous impact on the farming communities in the six parishes which were affected by flood rains in 2002, namely St. Ann, St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester and St. Elizabeth.
She expressed gratitude on behalf of the Jamaican Government to Head of the delegation of the European Union, Gerd Jarchow, and noted that previously completed work on parochial roads had been welcomed by the farmers in the communities, as it enabled them to take their produce to the market.
Mrs. Simpson-Miller said she hoped the support would be continued in the future.
In his reply, Mr. Jarchow disclosed that it was the intention of the EU to hand over another Stabex programme to the Local Government Ministry for work in the Eastern parishes.
He said the EU was pleased with the quality of work done so far, and was very interested in the livelihood of Jamaicans and the further sustainable development of the country.
Meanwhile, Minister Simpson-Miller appealed to the six contractors to “deliver quality work and value for money”. She also urged the Councillors to monitor the work carefully.
“Shoddy work will not be accepted by this Ministry,” she warned, adding that already, two contractors had been removed from the Ministry’s list.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, K.D. Knight who also spoke at the function, expressed his gratitude to the EU for the “sustained interest” in the country’s well-being.
He noted that there were other areas in which the EU and Jamaica had partnered, and mentioned the upcoming negotiations under the Cotonou Agreement for an economic partnership deal to help improve the quality of life of persons in the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries by enabling trade and increased investment opportunities for sustainable growth and development.
Minister Knight pointed out that in any such negotiations, the agricultural sector figured highly and as such, the Stabex programme, which was assisting farmers and enabling them to compete in the wider market, was extremely valuable

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