Gov’t Focused on Re-Establishing Essential Services in ZOSOs

Photo: Adrian Walker Deputy Chairman, Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) Social Intervention Committee, Omar Sweeney.

Story Highlights

  • Deputy Chairman, Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) Social Intervention Committee, Omar Sweeney, says the various initiatives being undertaken in Mount Salem and Denham Town, where a ZOSO is currently in effect, are aimed at re-establishing essential services to these communities.
  • He said that through the work of the Committee, the agencies that have been operating in these areas every day will now have a coordinated approach in providing the intervention that is needed, whether through work on the physical environment, skills and educational development or social services.
  • “One of our main strategies and pillars is to re-establish services such as solid waste management; citizen security and safety, that is, more community policing, neighbourhood watches; community groups; recreational activities as well as education and training programmes, to ensure that the people in these areas are fully engaged,” he pointed out.

Deputy Chairman, Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) Social Intervention Committee, Omar Sweeney, says the various initiatives being undertaken in Mount Salem and Denham Town, where a ZOSO is currently in effect, are aimed at re-establishing essential services to these communities.

Mr. Sweeney, who was addressing a JIS Think Tank on Tuesday (February 27), pointed out that even before the ZOSO, the communities were benefiting from engagements being undertaken by various entities as a means of effecting positive changes.

He said that through the work of the Committee, the agencies that have been operating in these areas every day will now have a coordinated approach in providing the intervention that is needed, whether through work on the physical environment, skills and educational development or social services.

“One of our main strategies and pillars is to re-establish services such as solid waste management; citizen security and safety, that is, more community policing, neighbourhood watches; community groups; recreational activities as well as education and training programmes, to ensure that the people in these areas are fully engaged,” he pointed out.

Mr. Sweeney said that as the interventions are carried out, it is of utmost importance to ensure sustainability of the measures in order to ensure that the communities never retreat to where they were before.

“So, as we build out the social fabric, what we want to ensure is that there are proper governance structures, community engagement, and the involvement of the requisite government agencies, non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations to form a nucleus and a core of practitioners that can help to re-establish services to the communities,” he pointed out.

Mr. Sweeney said a key area of focus of the Committee is formalising services such as water and electricity.

“A lot of this has to come through dialogue and engagement, and that is what many of the agencies are doing… . It is about utility regularisation, that is water and electricity supply, and already, some 160 persons in Mount Salem have now put their account in good standing and are in a formal relationship with the National Water Commission (NWC),” he noted.

He said that initiatives to foster job creation, skills training and business development are also being undertaken.

“We have a focus… on microenterprise development, so one of the programmes is targeted at this group as these communities have a lot of small shops and small businesses and need help in areas such as accounting, marketing and training persons to work with them.

“It is about creating opportunities for persons to earn… have a livelihood, and so we want to use the programmes to create avenues and improve conditions in these communities,” Mr. Sweeney said.

He noted that the objective of the interventions is to effect change and provide relief to residents. He said the services being delivered will empower people to solve their own problems and, ultimately, uplift their community.

The Social Intervention Committee is charged with developing a sustainable development plan, which will include addressing issues related to health, the environment, social improvement, infrastructural development, education and economic development.

JIS Social