JIS News

More than 12 kilometres of roadway in St. Catherine have been rehabilitated under the Parish Infrastructure Development Programme (PIDP), at a cost of $54 million.
The repaired parochial roads include Barnett Road, Pox Home, Kentucky Drive, Valdez Road, Patricia Parkway, Marlie Acres, Mysper Road, Davis Road, and Grants Land.
Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sports, Portia Simpson Miller hosted handing over ceremonies and dedicated the nine parochial roads on April 2, after touring the communities.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony in the community of Grants Land, the Minister said the vision of the PIDP “is to rehabilitate as many parochial roadways as possible for the better delivery of service in communities”. She stressed that an important objective of her tenure as the Local Government Minister was to address the issue of deplorable rural roads, which needed urgent attention.
“We must move forward in preparing the types of roads around the country which will allow for ready access for our farming communities, and quick access for emergency services in times of need,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
Jointly funded by the Government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the main aim of the PIDP is to improve the efficiency of the parish councils. To this end, PIDP carries out a number of rehabilitation exercises, including repairing parish council buildings, rehabilitating markets in the parishes, repairing parochial roads, and implementing revenue enhancement programmes for the councils.
Commenting on the Ministry’s on-going Local Government Reform process and the fact that the month of April was the start of a new financial year, Minister Simpson Miller told the residents of Grants Land that it was important to begin dialogue at the community level.
“The social programmes, the infrastructure, and capacity building mechanisms will no doubt play a major role in moving the reform process forward, but I want to emphasize that more than anything else, we need to foster greater community relations and values at the grassroots level,” the Minister noted.
“This is why we see strong, participatory and accountable local government as the best vehicle for the effective management of the affairs of the nation at the level of parish and community,” she added.Also on hand at the handing over was Deputy Representative of the IDB, Oscar Spencer who said the organization was pleased to be associated with the project.
Mr. Spencer said the activities of the PIDP, which “form part of the strategy of the Government of Jamaica to improve the well-being and quality of life of its citizens by providing basic infrastructure, is vital for promoting economic and social development”.
He pledged that the IDB would continue its commitment to the PIDP in the repair of roads in rural areas, to “create an environment for long-term sustainable development in Jamaica”.
Also in attendance was the Superintendent of Road and Works for the St. Catherine Parish Council, Franklin Binns.
In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Binns said the roads were rehabilitated “under the highest level of supervision with special emphasis on drainage structures, retaining walls, and surfacing”.He pointed out that repairs to the roads were done over a three-year period and that a maintenance programme has been put in place to ensure the upkeep of the roads.

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