JIS News

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has said that the Government is shaping the future of the country by providing a safer and healthier environment for families.
Making her contribution to the 2007/08 Budget Debate in the House, yesterday (May 1), Mrs. Simpson Miller cited the Soapberry Sewerage Project in St. Catherine as one such critical initiative. She informed that the $3.4 billion project, scheduled for completion in September of this year, would serve 600,000 residential and commercial customers in the Kingston Metropolitan Area.
“The Soapberry Sewerage Project, a major initiative to promote the health of our people, represents the beginning of the reclamation of the Kingston Harbour, from the devastating effects of pollution,” she told the House, adding that the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) had been instructed to pay priority attention to sanitary conveniences, particularly in rural communities.
Turning to the National Beautification Programme, Mrs. Simpson Miller said this involved more than just the cleaning up of garbage, as it was about building positive self-image and promoting self-confidence. “It is about re-socializing individuals and communities, to accept responsibility for keeping their surroundings clean. It is about affirming people’s worth as human beings. It is about valuing people, as members of our Jamaican family,” she said.
The Prime Minister stressed that people’s physical circumstances could not be divorced from their values and attitudes. “You cannot talk about encouraging people to have positive values and attitudes, when they live in sub-standard conditions,” she said, adding that “a healthy, clean environment is a pre-requisite for a productive nation.”
Some $635 million has been allocated to the beautification programme.
“The Lift Up Jamaica Programme has implemented a total of 1,478 projects, including clean up and beautification projects in all parishes of Jamaica. In addition to this, the Tourism Product Development Company is implementing 67 beautification and maintenance programmes, in sections of Negril, St. James, Trelawny, St. Ann, Portland, St. Elizabeth, Manchester, Clarendon and St. Catherine,” Mrs. Simpson Miller informed.
Already, she disclosed, more than $100 million has been spent on various projects in these areas, while $220 million has been approved from the Tourism Enhancement Fund for the full implementation of the projects.
“The involvement of the private sector in the beautification programme, is being done primarily through the adopt-an-area programme, which is a ‘joined up government’ initiative between the National Works Agency, the Tourism Development Product Company and the Ministry of Local Government and Environment,” she pointed out..

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