JIS News

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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is calling for more Jamaicans to give back to their communities by getting involved in volunteerism.
  • “The Government has taken steps with the new building codes to ensure that all new buildings are being retrofitted and upgraded, that they must put in place ramps,” he added.
  • This year’s Labour Day projects were carried out under the theme ‘Ramp it up... Fix it up’, with a focus on installing ramps in schools and improving health centres.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is calling for more Jamaicans to give back to their communities by getting involved in volunteerism.

“We want to see the re-emergence of the spirit of volunteerism, of giving your labour to the community for the building of your country. This is a perfect example of what Labour Day is about,” he said.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the official ceremony to launch 2018 Labour Day activities at the Cumberland Road Health Centre in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, today (May 23).

Mr. Holness participated in the activities, which included painting the interior and exterior of the building, repairing the roof, changing doors and installing new fans at the facility. Renovation of the health centre was one of two national projects. The other project was at the St. Ann’s Bay Infant School in St Ann.

The scope of works also included building a ramp, constructing an outdoor area to accommodate patients, and expanding the facility to provide more privacy for patients and staff.

In the meantime, Mr. Holness said this year’s focus for Labour Day on members of the disabled community is important, as Jamaica works to become a more inclusive society.

“We tend, sometimes, to take for granted that everyone who exists in our society has access to all the services that are given. The truth is that the disabled community is not able to access all the services (which is sometimes due to the absence of wheelchair ramps),” he noted.

“The Government has taken steps with the new building codes to ensure that all new buildings are being retrofitted and upgraded, that they must put in place ramps,” he added.

Mr. Holness further informed that he has given a directive to the National Works Agency (NWA) to place ramps for the disabled community at all new roads being built where pedestrian access is granted.

One of the main areas of focus for Labour Day activities this year is to begin the work to equip 126 public schools with wheelchair ramps.

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for St. Catherine Central, Hon. Olivia Grange, said repairing the health centre will provide more comfort for patients and staff until the facility can be relocated.

Miss Grange noted that the facility is inadequate to accommodate the large population it now serves. She informed that there are plans to build a new state-of-the art facility on lands that have already been identified.

She expressed gratitude to the numerous volunteers from the community, as well as individuals from the Social Development Commission, the National Youth Service, the Jamaica National Service Corps, and the Digicel Foundation, who provided well-needed support.

Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, also commended the Government on the decision to focus on members of the disabled community for Labour Day.

This year’s Labour Day projects were carried out under the theme ‘Ramp it up… Fix it up’, with a focus on installing ramps in schools and improving health centres.