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Story Highlights

  • The support was provided under the Clarendon Local Sustainable Development Plan (CLSDP), which is being implemented by the Clarendon Municipal Corporation through a $32-million grant.
  • Among the beneficiaries are the Little Angel Basic School in Toll Gate, which was renovated at a cost of $500,000; Spalding beekeeping project, which received $400,000 and members of the group trained; the Sandy River ginger project, which got $400,000; and the Lionel Town rabbit-rearing project, which also received $400,000 and beneficiaries trained and provided with animals to start their own ventures.
  • Project Manager for the CLSDP, Melbourine McPherson, tells JIS News that the plan is “singlehandedly” one of the most important documents for the sustainable growth of Clarendon.

The seven development areas in Clarendon have benefited from millions in funding to undertake initiatives to drive social and economic growth at the local level.

The support was provided under the Clarendon Local Sustainable Development Plan (CLSDP), which is being implemented by the Clarendon Municipal Corporation through a $32-million grant.

Of the sum, $20 million was provided by the European Union (EU)-funded Sugar Transformation Unit (STU) and $12 million from the National Housing Trust (NHT).

Among the beneficiaries are the Little Angel Basic School in Toll Gate, which was renovated at a cost of $500,000; Spaldings beekeeping project, which received $400,000 and members of the group trained; the Sandy River ginger project, which got $400,000; and the Lionel Town rabbit-rearing project, which also received $400,000 and beneficiaries trained and provided with animals to start their own ventures.

The allocation to the Little Angel Basic School went towards the renovation of the facility, which has put the institution in a position to meet the Early Childhood Commission’s (ECC) standards for certification.

Principal of the school, Erica Hill, tells JIS News that the institution has been transformed and the school is more equipped to “prepare our children”.

“We are truly grateful; we appreciate the help and it has enhanced our school a great deal. Parents are enthused; and the community is very pleased,” Ms. Hill says.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Lionel Town Development Area Committee (DAC), Arthur Coleman, notes that the rabbit-rearing project will provide an income-earning opportunity for community members.

He tells JIS News that part of the agreement to obtain the funds is for beneficiaries to return some of the young animals to the programme so that others can benefit.

“I am very sure that within a year, we will have enough rabbits to make us more financially stable,” Mr. Coleman says.

The CLSDP, launched in February, provides a framework for the growth and development of Clarendon by capitalising on the opportunities available, without jeopardising the growth possibilities of future generations.

Developed through important contributions from the development area committees and community group, the plan is built around the four fundamental components of sustainable development – environmental action, social well-being, economic prosperity, and good governance.

Among the key areas of focus are addressing climate change and building disaster resilience; development of a healthy and educated population; creation of a strong diversified economy that is built around agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing; and promoting the principles of transparency and accountability.

Mayor of May Pen, Councillor Winston Maragh, says a great deal of effort was put into the plan.

He notes that it provides a “structured way” for the development of the parish, and he will be at the forefront of ensuring that it is implemented.

Project Manager for the CLSDP, Melbourine McPherson, tells JIS News that the plan is “single-handedly” one of the most important documents for the sustainable growth of Clarendon.

She notes that it came out of a participatory process, where stakeholders were able to identify their various needs.

She says that one of the important benefits is that it will ensure order in the development process.

In addition, she says, it will improve ease of doing business, which will make the parish more attractive for investment.

Among the provisions are areas that are zoned for various use, such as business, which will help to reduce conflicts.

It also addresses problems such as lack of employment, inadequate water supply, and improper garbage disposal.

Miss McPherson informs that the Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) Project played a major role in the development of the plan, particularly in ensuring that the economic initiatives that benefited from funding were sound ventures.

Other partners are the Social Development Commission (SDC), Clarendon Parish Development Committee Benevolent Society (CPDCBS), and the National Association of Parish Development Committees (NAPDEC).

Meanwhile, Miss McPherson is urging the beneficiaries in the seven development areas that have received funding for their projects, to sustain them for the progress of their communities.

“These projects came from you, the residents, who believe that they would be most impactful in your communities. So, it is very important that you sustain these projects, because you don’t want to be going backwards,” she notes.