JIS News

Plans are in high gear for national Hurricane Dean clean-up activities scheduled for this weekend. Prime Minister Bruce Golding has designated September 29 and 30 as work days for the removal of debris left behind following the passage of the hurricane in August.
Speaking at a meeting of the national planning committee at Jamaica House on Monday (Sept. 24), Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports Olivia Grange who has ministerial responsibility for the exercise, said several church groups have joined the effort while a number of projects have been identified by civic groups, private sector organizations, parish councils, chambers of commerce and members of the public. “Everyone will join hands to ensure that we have a successful clean-up,” the Minister said.
Over the two-days of clean-up, the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) will have lead responsibility for the removal of debris. The authority is urging residents to separate domestic garbage from hurricane debris in order to ensure a smooth process come weekend. A central coordinating unit will be set up at the Office of the Prime Minister on both days.
Owners and operators of trucks, backhoes, shredders and other necessary equipment are expected to volunteer their time and equipment to the national effort. Petroleum companies will also contribute fuel for trucks that will be used in clean-up activities over the two-days. Co-Chair of the planning committee Kingsley Thomas said when the exercise is completed there should be a visible difference and that all Jamaicans will have to make a conscious effort to keep their environment and the country clean. “Citizens will have to do what they can to keep their environment clean,” Mr. Thomas said. Meanwhile, Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse, Director of Emergencies Services in the Ministry of Health said vector control activities are ongoing and include fogging for mosquitoes and rat bating to reduce the rodent population. She said the Ministry was particularly concerned about the increased risk of disease transmission due to a higher number of breeding sites. She said while there is a risk of dengue and leptospirosis, the country has not seen any new cases of malaria since June. She said the Ministry will be embarking on a public education campaign for dengue fever in the coming weeks.