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  • Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says that members of the public who impede the work of vector-control workers in stemming the spread of dengue could find themselves in trouble with the law.
  • He gave the warning at a Local Government town hall held at the Trelawny Municipal Corporation’s Council Chambers in Falmouth on Thursday (December 12).
  • “There are many cases where, in people’s backyards, in unused swimming pools there are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and despite the attempts by the authorities to do their jobs, in some cases, persons chase them from their premises and threaten them. “Well, I want to send a warning that the Government is going to respond to persons who obstruct people who are executing their responsibility to rid this country of the dengue epidemic,” the Minister said.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says that members of the public who impede the work of vector-control workers in stemming the spread of dengue could find themselves in trouble with the law.

He gave the warning at a Local Government town hall held at the Trelawny Municipal Corporation’s Council Chambers in Falmouth on Thursday (December 12).

“There are many cases where, in people’s backyards, in unused swimming pools there are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and despite the attempts by the authorities to do their jobs, in some cases, persons chase them from their premises and threaten them. “Well, I want to send a warning that the Government is going to respond to persons who obstruct people who are executing their responsibility to rid this country of the dengue epidemic,” the Minister said.

He noted that citizens have a responsibility to clean their surroundings in order to reduce mosquito breeding sites.

“As elected representatives, we have a responsibility to respond to dengue, but equally, the people have a responsibility to be responsive in how they operate,” he said.

Mr. McKenzie informed that officials from the Ministry will be meeting with key personnel from the Ministry of Health and Wellness on December 27 “to discuss and roll out another phase of our fight against the dengue outbreak”.

The meeting will include the mayors and chief executive officers of municipalities.

For his part, Regional Operations Manager of Western Parks and Market (WPM) Waste Management Limited, Garnet Edmondson, noted that the agency is increasing waste collection in Falmouth for the festive season.

“Residents of communities located close to the town centre tend to bring out a lot of waste, so there is a special programme in place for us to make sure that we have twice-per-week collection for those communities. So we should not have our town centre filled with garbage during the Christmas period going over into January,” he noted.

He said that the working hours for public cleansing officers will be extended to ensure that there is “full supervision during the season”, while the landfill will stay open longer.

“Presently, it closes at 10:00 p.m., [but] we will go up until 1:00 a.m. to ensure that all trucks can be accommodated to ensure that our turnaround time will be quicker,” Mr. Edmondson said.

Scores of Trelawny residents turned out to the town hall, which was held to discuss street lighting, disaster preparedness and other challenges affecting the parish.

Agencies represented at the meeting were the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the Social Development Commission (SDC) and WPM Waste Management Limited.

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