KINGSTON — Twenty seven employees of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), who have displayed exemplary work attitude, were honoured recently at an awards ceremony, held at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston.
Speaking at the function, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, said the government appreciated the hard work and dedication of the workers, describing them as “unrecognised heroes who tend to what people reject."
“This occasion is so critical because you have to recognise yourself and believe in yourself and recognise that what you are doing is absolutely critical, not just to you, but to the development of your country and community,” he said.
Dr. Tufton emphasised that without the sanitation workers, “the society would be at risk,” as there would be even more outbreaks of sanitary-related diseases, such as E.coli (Escherichia coli), without proper management of waste.
Pointing out that about one billion tonnes of waste are being collected globally per annum, and the country managing approximately 1.2 million tonnes of waste annually, he stressed the importance of appreciating and understanding effective waste management.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, praised the awardees for performing “beyond the call of duty."
He added that Local Government is pleased to have responsibility for an agency that has turned the Riverton dump into the Riverton Landfill; is responsible for making Jamaica beautiful; and has “put back pride and excellence in sanitation work."
Meanwhile, Executive Director of the NSWMA, Joan Gordon-Webley said she appreciated the workers, without whom the agency would not have been successful.
She noted that over the past year, several measures were introduced which contributed to the excellent performance of the staff, for example, the emphasis being placed on training of staff.
Mrs. Gordon-Webley informed that four team members were sent to Japan to be trained and were involved in a follow-up workshop in St. Lucia, and another four are to receive training. She also noted that members undertook training in Ornamental Horticulture at the HEART Trust/NTA.
She further informed that this year, health and life insurance were negotiated for staff at lower premium rates, a quick pay system was introduced, as well as a discomfort allowance.
The Executive Director’s Award went to Manager at the Riverton Landfill, Winston Wilson; and Supervisor in the Parks and Gardens Division, Darion Blake-Thompson.
Rackeisha Williams and Lisa Leonard, both came away with the Parks and Gardens Employee of the Year award, while the Most Outstanding Commercial Performers were: Zonal Monitor at Western Parks and Market (WPM) Waste Management Limited, Andrew Walker; and Zonal Monitor at WPM Waste Management Limited, Hyacinth Carey.
The Disposal Site Worker of the Year award went to David McKane of Metropolitan Parks and Market (MPM) Waste Management Limited, Richard Whyne, from Southern Parks and Market (SPM) Waste Management Limited, Clarence Walker from WPM and Nadine Bryan of North Eastern Parks and Market (NEPM) Waste Management Limited.
Other categories were: Regional Sanitation Team of the Year, which comprised 17 persons from MPM, SPM, WPM and NEPM Management Limited. Additionally, SPM Waste Management Limited was awarded Region of the Year, while the Disposal Site of the Year was the Riverton Landfill.
Several staff members were also awarded HEART Trust/NTA Enterprise-Based Training (EBT) certificates. They are: Ana Bloomfield, Bridgette Corrodus-Dixon, Lisa Leonard, Michael Fellows, Neville Black, Nyomie Brissett, Osschaine Kelly, Sandra Berry, and Tanisha Rowtham.
By ALECIA SMITH, JIS Reporter