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His Worship the Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Desmond McKenzie, has called for a garbage disposal policy, pointing out that such legislation would reduce the number of problems affecting the environment.
Mayor McKenzie said the policy should be implemented, with the collaboration of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), to include an educational campaign which emphasises the negative effects of pollution on the nation’s children.
“We need to create a proper garbage disposal policy, which is not limited to the picking-up and dumping of garbage, but it must include an educational input, which teaches the public, especially our children, how to dispose of their waste safely,” the Mayor said at the launch of National Child Month Committee Action Day 2009, at the Denham Town Primary School, West Kingston.
In making the call, the Mayor said that the legislation should include the promotion of a stance against companies that contribute to pollution of the environment, and possibly prosecution of these companies.
“NEPA should be in a position to advertise to the public the names of some of these companies, which are contributing to the pollution of our society,” he said.
Mayor McKenzie suggested that children were also being exposed to mind pollution, from inappropriate media content, which should also be addressed. He commended the Broadcasting Commission for its recent stance on clamping down on lewd lyrics and indecent exposure in the media.
“I want Denham Town Primary School to send a strong message to the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica, by saying that the children of Denham Town Primary School support the ban on nasty music, nasty video and anything that does not help them to advance their education to be proper men and women,” he said to thunderous applause.
The expansion of a school garden at Denham Town Primary is the national project for this year’s Child Month Action Day. Action Day is one of several activities organised by the National Child Month Committee (NCMC) to educate the public about the needs of children under the theme: ‘Preserve the Environment: Protect our Children’.
The expansion of the school’s garden will include the planting of various seedlings such as callaloo, sweet pepper, scotch bonnet pepper and okra.
Chairman of NCMC Dr. Pauline Mullings, said that 11 years ago the Committee decided to include the physical environment of children as part of the month’s commemoration activities.
“But, we also would like individuals to take note of the spiritual environment of the children which would help them to develop good morals and high values, also look at the emotional environment of our children where we are very careful of what we say to them,” she said.
Wife of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Lorna Golding, officially launched the programme and donated $100,000 to the school’s nutrition and science lab projects. Mrs. Golding said that the funds were drawn from the Jamaica Early Childhood Foundation Fund.
Main sponsors of the school’s garden programme are: Jamaica 4-H Club, Agro Grace, and Landline, Internet, Mobile and Entertainment (LIME). Agro Grace and Jamaica 4-H Club provide vegetable seedlings, agricultural implements and technical support, while LIME is donating 20 trees to the school.
The expansion of the school’s garden programme is in keeping with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ mandate to revive school gardens, islandwide.
Jamaica 4-H Club’s Director of National Garden Programme Clinton Brown, told the gathering that some 405 school gardens are currently established in educational institutions, islandwide.
Children’s Advocate, Mary Clarke; Representative from the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Jamaica Country Office, Robert Fuderich; and representatives from LIME and Agro Grace, also brought greetings at the launch.