Approximately 200 residents from six vulnerable communities are being trained as Environmental Wardens, through the solid waste management initiative being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
The initiative, a component of JSIF’s Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), which is now in its second phase, is being funded by the Government of Jamaica.
Persons being trained are from Treadlight in Clarendon; Anchovy and Salt Spring in St. James, and August Town, Greenwich Town and Denham Town in Kingston and St. Andrew.
Training began in Treadlight on October 13 and will end in August Town in early November.
Each training session is being facilitated by representatives from JSIF, the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Dispute Resolution Foundation. It covers areas such as solid waste management and regulations, environmental protection, public health, dispute resolution, fire safety and COVID-19 response.
Systems Operation and Environment Manager at JSIF, Dr. Milton Clarke, told JIS News that the environmental wardens will serve three primary functions and be gazetted under the NSWMA Act once their training is completed.
“They will clean up the community on a daily basis, serve as enforcement officers and help to educate the residents in the respective communities about how to properly manage their solid waste, once it is generated,” said Dr. Clarke.
“As we train, we try to get them out to work right away, so that they can start to benefit as quickly as possible,” he added.
The wardens will also be given equipment to carry out their work, including gloves, masks, rakes, waterboots and wheelbarrows.
The initiative is also aimed at improving the solid waste infrastructure in the targeted communities.
“We are going to put in the concrete enclosures in the communities and equip them with the skips to store the bulky waste, and then we are going to distribute garbage bins throughout the communities closer to the home, so that persons don’t have to walk too far to dispose of their garbage,” Dr. Clarke pointed out.