Cabinet is expected to receive a preliminary report Monday from Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, on the social interventions necessary to address the dislocation experienced by residents of Tredegar Park, St. Catherine.
This follows the August 13 attack on the community by armed thugs, which claimed the lives of eight persons.
Mr. Vaz, who, along with National Security Minister, Senator Dwight Nelson, led a team of government and police officials on a tour of the community on Wednesday (August 18), said his office is coordinating the social intervention effort, which will involve representatives of relevant Ministries, departments and agencies, including the Ministries of Labour and Social Security, Education, Health, and Water and Housing; Peace Management Initiative (PMI); and Victim Support Unit (VSU), who will commence their analyses on Thursday (August 19).
National Security Minister, Senator Dwight Nelson (right), listens to concerns raised by residents of Tredegar Park, St. Catherine, impacted by the August 13 attack on the community by armed thugs, during a tour of the community by government and police officials on Wednesday (August 18).
“Tomorrow (Thursday), we start with the preliminary assessment, which I will take to Cabinet on Monday, discuss it with the various Ministers and get a sign off from Cabinet, in terms of where we can (assist), in terms of funding,” Mr. Vaz said.
He said that Food for the Poor is already committed, and will be visiting the community Thursday (August 19) at 10:00 a.m.
“Of course, when I know the needs, then we will make a wider appeal to the private sector organization and companies,” Mr. Vaz told JIS News.
The Minister pointed out that Wednesday’s visit provided a “comprehensive insight” into the “seriousness of the situation” in Tredegar Park, from security and social perspectives.
“What you are seeing out here is what you see on CNN, in war torn countries and communities,” he commented.
“You have a situation where the entire community is traumatized, (for) those who have remained. You have a situation where children are shaken, parents are crying, you have people who are unable to eat, because of the trauma and the fright, and basically, this is something that has been going on for quite a number of years,” Mr. Vaz said
He stated that the Ministry of National Security and police have a plan, in terms of boosting security, alluding to Senator Nelson’s announcement of the establishment of a mobile security post and increased patrols in the area.
He also explained that, from the government’s standpoint, they are putting together a social intervention effort, based on the information gleaned from the assessments, both in terms of the deceased, and those who need to go back to school.
The Minister disclosed that this will include the Tredegar Park All-Age School, where he said “registration is very low”, pointing to the need to determine whether the institution can be re-opened for the new academic year and registration improved.
“So, all in all, this is not a quick fix.this is not something where you come and visit and leave in two days and send some stuff in. This is going to take a little bit of challenge, in terms of getting persons the assistance that they so badly need,” Mr. Vaz stated.
He said that, consequent on the Cabinet submission, further directives will be issued to the relevant agencies in terms of what and how far they should go, based on their recommendations.