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  • The House of Representatives on Tuesday (October 16) approved a resolution extending the Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) in Mount Salem, St. James, for a period of 60 days.
  • The Resolution was moved by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who noted that activities in the community have progressed steadily since its declaration as Jamaica’s first Zone of Special Operations in September 2017.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday (October 16) approved a resolution extending the Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) in Mount Salem, St. James, for a period of 60 days.

The Resolution was moved by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who noted that activities in the community have progressed steadily since its declaration as Jamaica’s first Zone of Special Operations in September 2017.

“Today, the high rate of gang-related violence, which previously characterised the community, and the police division by extension, is no longer at the level it was prior to the declaration of the Zone,” he said.

“In fact, over the period September 2017 to October 11, 2018, the community experienced no murders or shootings,” he added.

The Prime Minister said there is a commitment to sustain the interventions, which will include measures to address violence and steer young men away from gangs.

“The social intervention has to be parallel with the security intervention. The intervention has to create an area where people feel secure, that they can have their rights preserved and that there is quick access to a system of justice,” he noted.

The State, through the Social Intervention Committee has coordinated the delivery of social services to the community. The interventions have intensified since the transition to the build phase in February 2018.

To date, phases one and two of road rehabilitation have been completed and include the rehabilitation of Mount Salem and Barnett View roads. Also some 115 households have had their accounts regularised by the National Water Commission (NWC).

In addition, the Mount Salem Primary and Junior High School is to be rehabilitated to include construction of a classroom block; renovation of the sanitation block, kitchen, and existing bathrooms; and undertaking termite treatment for the compound.

A new state-of-the-art infant school will be developed, with the project to entail a four-classroom block and bathrooms. Perimeter fencing will be erected and a tertiary sewer system built.