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Four contracts valued at $416 million were signed Thursday (November 19), to commence work for the implementation of 10 major infrastructural sub-projects, under the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP) phase four initiative.

Speaking at the contract-signing ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, Chairman, JSIF, Dr. Wayne Henry, said the works will include the upgrade of five police stations across select parishes – two in Clarendon (Four Paths and Lionel Town); two in Kingston (Denham Town and Franklyn Town), and one in St. James (Adelphi).

“We are also pleased to announce that we will be demolishing the old police station in the Mount Salem community and will be building a new police station for the community,” Dr. Henry said.

He noted that the JSIF strives to place high emphasis on investing in community development through the implementation of impactful projects that will enable citizens to have a better quality of life.

“We are [also] pleased to announce that under the JSIF-PRP phase four project, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Western Regional Health Authority will benefit from three upgraded health centres in St. James (Barrett Town, Flanker and Granville) and a newly constructed health centre in the Adelphi community,” Dr. Henry informed.

He said these facilities will boast modern amenities, including consultation rooms, dental offices, pharmacies, sterilisation and treatment rooms.

Dr. Henry stressed that the roles of the contractors are critical to the delivery of a high-quality finished product.

“In this regard, I am urging the contractors who have been successful in their bids to ensure that project completion is timely while reflecting adherence to standards and the highest quality, as it is very important for us to build sustainable infrastructure,” he said.

In her remarks, Head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Marianne Van Steen, said the upgrade work on the health centres will expand the capacity of the health sector to deal with the regular health concerns and to allow a better response to increased traffic flow within the health sector, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are particularly pleased that improvements in services will include the construction of a mental health office at the Flanker Health Centre; pharmacy services at the Adelphi and Granville Health Centres; dental offices at Flanker and Granville Health Centres and retrofitting of the entire Barrett Town Health Centre to facilitate disability access,” Ambassador Van Steen said.

She noted that the renovation of the police stations will also provide much needed improvements to the security experience of both the police and residents, particularly for the police, whose role has been expanded as part of the national response to COVID-19.

“Planned improvements include cell block and barrack room upgrades for all police stations, and resource/training rooms for the Four Paths, Franklyn Town and Adelphi Police Stations,” Ambassador Van Steen informed.

She added that all these improvements will benefit the over 50,000 residents and workers of the seven communities in which they are located.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) has oversight to provide technical support for the successful implementation of the European Union’s Poverty Reduction Programme, which has been executed by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund over the past 19 years.

The four contracting companies are SM Quality Construction, Modern Ricam Construction, C & D Construction and Engineering Limited and Marshall Construction Company Limited.

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