The Full Story
More than 200 residents in Clarendon North Central are to benefit from a $25-million project under the Rural Electrification Programme (REP), administered by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
The beneficiary communities are Citron Street and Cottage Hill.
In Citron Street, wiring and installation will be done on 160 houses, and 120 houses will be done in the Cottage Hill community.
While on a tour in the communities on October 5, Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport, Hon. Daryl Vaz, said a contract will shortly be awarded for the project, which will facilitate infrastructural works such as poles and cover costs to wire the houses.
“The cost is prohibitive for a number of residents in the rural areas. No citizen will be asked to pay for the wiring. What they will be asked to do is connect to JPS (Jamaica Public Service Company) when it comes to the district, and there will be zero tolerance in relation to the theft of electricity after the community has been wired,” Mr. Vaz said.
The Minister called on the community members to protect themselves from that “type of activity”, as JPS and the police will be acting against electricity theft in the area.
Accompanying Mr. Vaz were his Minister of State, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson; Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Robert Morgan, and Managing Director of JSIF, Omar Sweeney.
“The contract will start in November, and it is expected to last until the end of January or February, at which point all the residents will have access to JPS, which will come here to make sure that the applications are filled out, and the residents can get legal electricity,” he said.
For his part, Mr. Morgan said none of the two communities have “proper electricity”, with some persons running wires up to 600 metres to obtain the service.
He said that during his campaign to become the Member of Parliament, the issue dominated concerns by the residents, and “we want to regularise them, so that they can feel as part of the society”.
The REP aims to extend electricity to rural Jamaica as part of the Government’s commitment to provide the entire island with access to electricity, stimulate economic and social activity in rural Jamaica, and provide a better-quality life in rural communities.