JIS News

As the clean-up work gets underway in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean, the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) said that efforts will be concentrated on towns and main thoroughfares before moving on to the residential areas.
Acting Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Powell, speaking at a press conference held at NSWMA’s headquarters on Half-Way-Tree Road yesterday (Aug. 22), said that already, work has started in the corporate area, with the removal of debris from Waltham Park Road, and the agency will be focused on cleaning one road at a time.
He informed that following the clean-up on Waltham Park Road, trucks and cleaning crews will head to Rosseau Road, then on to Maxfield Avenue, Molynes and Lyndhurst Roads. “We’re hoping that we can pull this all off today,” he said.
“The process involves a day to day assessment and we will deploy the resources to other areas, but this will be done on a daily basis, road by road,” he stressed.
The Caribbean Terrace community, which was extensively damaged during the hurricane, is also high on the agency’s agenda and crew was dispatched to the area today. “We will expect that by the end of today, there will be significant movement in respect to the situation that exists there. We had gone a day ago, but there was other heavy work going on, so we stood back a bit,” said the Chairman of the NSWMA, Robert Bryan, who was also on hand.
Other areas where work has commenced include Portmore, Cumberland main road and Braeton Phases one and two in St. Catherine.
In terms of other parishes, clean-up work was completed in Ocho Rios late yesterday in time for the arrival of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, which docked at the pier today with some 4,500 passengers and crew. “We have cleaned and finished the roads in St. Ann’s Bay, and we are presently engaged in Runaway Bay,” the Acting CEO informed.
On the South Coast, work has begun in the severely hit areas of Alligator Pond, Treasure Beach and Bamboo Avenue in St. Elizabeth, while in the tourist centres of Montego Bay and Negril, clean up work has started. “The NSWMA is working with the Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture and have spent a lot of time [discussing] the requirements of the tourist areas.
We came out with the proper understanding and agreement in respect to that and the support of the Tourism Ministry in getting that done. We have agreed on a schedule,” Mr. Bryan informed.
Clean up plans for Port Antonio are also on the agenda. As for Spanish Town, Mr. Powell said “hopefully, we can begin in this area and along the corridors to Bog Walk tomorrow.”
In the meantime, Mr. Bryan indicated that the clean-up strategy outlined for Downtown Kingston will involve the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC). “We have been engaged in discussion with Mayor of Kingston, Desmond McKenzie and the plan is to have the KSAC manage the clean up operation in the downtown zone,” he informed.
“He [Mayor McKenzie] is presently putting the final touches to that plan and we will sign off on that during the course of today and get that moving,” he added.
The NSWMA also intends to take a similar approach with some of the other parishes by working closely with the mayors and local authorities.
While not giving a deadline for the competition of the clean-up process, Mr. Bryan said “the strategy we are following is to tackle those areas, which we have accessed to be worst first, and those that will impact on a greater number of people utilizing those particular areas.”

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