JIS News

Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine, with special attention to Old Harbour Bay, and parts of Clarendon, have been identified as critical areas for the National Hurricane Clean-Up Project, which will be undertaken on September 29 and 30.
Speaking at the weekly JIS Think Tank on (Sept. 26) at the agency’s Half-Way-Tree Road offices, Coordinator of the Project, Michael Ammar, informed that a survey of the island is being done, to determine what needs to be cleaned and at the end of the day, there will be a clearer idea as to the main areas of focus.
Mr. Ammar, a businessman, is one of two coordinators spearheading the project under the guidance of Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sport, Olivia Grange, with the other being Kingsley Thomas.
Mr. Ammar explained that the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has been working since Monday (Sept. 24) to clean up inner city communities in Kingston and St. Andrew and that the agency will be concentrating on picking up all the residential garbage throughout the country. It is hoped that by Friday (Sept. 28) all the household garbage will be collected, leaving the weekend clear for the removal of hurricane debris.
He urged residents to ensure that debris is cut up as small as possible and/or bagged and placed on sidewalks. “We will be looking to pick up stuff on sidewalks so it is essential that the debris be put out,” he said.
Mr. Ammar further suggested that communities do the fine cleaning of sidewalks, such as raking the remaining residue. “We’re just really asking everybody to pitch in. If you can ensure that the front of your property, whether it be commercial or residential is cleaned, and each person do their own property, then come Monday morning (Oct.1) we’ll see a great difference especially in the parishes that we’ve spoken about,” he pointed out.
He indicated that for the parishes that were not badly damaged by the hurricane, there will be designated projects such as the cleaning of round-a-bouts, town squares, and parks.
Mr. Ammar noted that “if on Monday morning, every piece of garbage is not picked up, it doesn’t mean that the project is a failure. What we are going to try and do is break the back of it this weekend and then solid waste will mop up next week.” He added that, “if we can get most of the country clean again and most of the communities back to normal, then most of the people can get on with their lives and put Hurricane Dean behind them.”
Turning to the question of what will happen after the clean-up day, Mr. Ammar said, “it’s really over if we the citizens want it to be over. We have to look at this as the end of the beginning not the beginning of the end and what we are hoping is that once the hurricane debris is cleaned up, we can look towards beautification projects, which will start to be planned now and can be implemented between now and Labour Day 2008.”
The national clean-up project, which was announced by Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, is part of the recovery response following the onslaught of Hurricane Dean on August 19 and is designed to rid communities and towns of all traces of hurricane debris.

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