JIS News

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  • Residents of several communities in South East St. Andrew have had their electricity supply regularised under a community renewal programme being undertaken by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) in collaboration with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
  • Under the ‘Step Up’ pilot programme, seven communities with high incidence of electricity theft have been targeted for specific interventions, including the re-wiring of homes.
  • This was disclosed by Member of Parliament for the constituency, Hon. Julian Robinson, during his contribution to the State of the Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 9.

Residents of several communities in South East St. Andrew have had their electricity supply regularised under a community renewal programme being undertaken by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) in collaboration with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).

Under the ‘Step Up’ pilot programme, seven communities with high incidence of electricity theft have been targeted for specific interventions, including the re-wiring of homes.

This was disclosed by Member of Parliament for the constituency, Hon. Julian Robinson, during his contribution to the State of the Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 9.

Mr. Robinson, who chairs a committee, which addresses electricity theft, said it was recognised that many of the persons, while consumers of electricity, were not paying for the service, as their homes were not legitimately wired.

“We have found that wiring is prohibitively expensive. It can cost a minimum of $50,000 up to $70,000 and it is beyond the capacity of many of those persons to do so,” he said.

Assistance was provided to get the homes connected to the national grid and prepaid meters have been installed, which allows persons to pay for a specific amount of wattage.

The programme also involves the changing out of incandescent household bulbs to energy-efficient ones, and old inefficient streetlights have been replaced with light-emitting diodes (LED).

Mr. Robinson further informed that persons have been trained in electrical installation so that they can participate in the programme.

Mr. Robinson, who is also State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, further informed that funding is being sought to carry out the programme in an additional 10 communities, which will extend the benefits to 17 communities and 5,000 households.

“We (also) want to see how we can roll it out nationally,” he said.  “There are over 180,000 consumers, who are not customers of JPS, who are the ones who customers pay for, so it is an issue that we have to address and deal with,” he pointed out.

Turning to other developments in his constituency, Mr. Robinson noted that he has been working to empower his constituents, particularly the youth, through training and education programmes.

These include summer camps focussed on literary and principles of business; entrepreneurship training courses; financial literacy workshops; and a digital literacy course.

Mr. Robinson also pointed to a ‘Girls Who Code’ summer camp where 40 girls were exposed to software development practices.

He further mentioned that 30 persons were trained in the art of film making under a University of the West Indies (UWI) community film project, and  most are engaged in internships.

Mr. Robinson said the Nannyville Health Centre, built in 1978, was refurbished and reopened in January this year.

In addition, he noted that over the last year and a half, four community access points, outfitted with computers and internet access, have been established through the Universal Service Fund (USF).

The communities which benefited are: Jacques Road, McGregor Gardens, Deanery Road and St. Theresa.