JIS News

A number of community leaders in Yallahs, St. Thomas were recently presented with cellular phones, as part of a wireless communication network being set up by Digicel in collaboration with the Yallahs Development Area Committee (YDAC).
National Sales Manager of Digicel, Michelle Watkis, presented the communication package at the YDAC’s quarterly meeting held at the Eleven Miles Community Development Centre in Bull Bay.
A few handsets were handed over to leaders of the YDAC, while the remainder would be delivered within the next two weeks. Some 20 communities are expected to benefit under the initiative.
Field Services Manager at the Social Development Commission, Clement Battieste, explained that the network would enable the community leaders to report disasters as they occur, so that resources could be quickly deployed to bring relief to affected residents.
“These community leaders will be able to communicate with each other, with organizations, and other members in the event of a disaster. We can link up with the ODPEM (Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management) and let them interact with the leaders on the ground, who would update them on what’s happening,” he added.
He informed that persons connected to the network would be able to communicate with each other free of cost.
According to Mr. Battieste, the network would be developed in three phases ultimately expanding to accommodate close to 3,000 persons in the parish.
Guest speaker and Attorney-at-law, David Wong Ken, who spoke on the topic: ‘Advancing the community development process through technology’ said that, “technology impacts on our daily lives in a profound way.”
“You are community leaders and you will have a profound impact on the lives of people in your communities and it is up to you as leaders, to use technology to make sure that the communities benefit,” he said.
The YDAC is the co-ordinating body for the development area, which comprises representatives from each Community Development Committee (CDC) as well as state agencies, elected representatives, civil societies and the private sector.