JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is calling on Jamaicans to be responsible in how they dispose of garbage.
  • This call follows a major flooding incident along Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston on September 9, due in part to a build-up of garbage in drains in that vicinity.
  • Addressing the launch of the National Housing Trust (NHT) Best Schemes competition at the Jamaica Conference Centre, today (September 16), Mr. Holness appealed to community leaders to start a drive “to raise the consciousness” of community members on the appropriate ways to dispose of solid waste.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is calling on Jamaicans to be responsible in how they dispose of garbage.

This call follows a major flooding incident along Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston on September 9, due in part to a build-up of garbage in drains in that vicinity.

Addressing the launch of the National Housing Trust (NHT) Best Schemes competition at the Jamaica Conference Centre, today (September  16), Mr. Holness appealed to  community leaders to start a drive “to raise the consciousness” of community members on the appropriate ways to dispose of solid waste.

“That’s the first step in taking charge of ownership of our environment. We want you to truly own Jamaica by taking ownership of the environment, by being active participants in protecting (it). A good place to start is controlling how we dispose of our waste, in particular plastics,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that while the Government has a major role to play in the protection of the environment, communities also have a duty to keep the surroundings clean, both for aesthetical and health reasons, particularly as it relates to the ongoing proliferation of vector-borne diseases.

He noted that the Government is now working to develop additional initiatives to improve public cleansing and waste management in the country.

Meanwhile, Mr. Holness hailed the NHT, for which he has portfolio responsibility, on its work in promoting community spirit, leadership and governance through the 11th staging of the Best Schemes competition this year.

The competition allows NHT schemes across the island to vie for approximately $5.5 million in prizes in the six-month-long competition, which includes involvement in a range of community-development projects. Communities have two months from the launch to register.

During the competition period, participating communities will be engaged in training sessions on business and community development tools as well as on ways to build resilience against mosquito-borne illnesses.

The NHT has also launched its Entrepreneurial Challenge, which allows residents of the communities to pitch their business ideas in a bid to win a share of $21 million in cash and prizes.

Mr. Holness, in congratulating the participants and community leaders, said the basis of the Best Schemes competition is to encourage persons to have a sense of ownership of their communities.

“Possessing the title is one thing, but being willing to participate in the ongoing development of the community is a more important form of ownership,” he said.

He assured the leaders of the Government’s support of their efforts to improve the standards of their communities and their drive to do what is necessary to raise the quality of life.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, hailed the capacity-building component of the competition, which he said creates competencies that serve to maximise the potential of the community.

This, he added, encourages social cohesion and removes the possibility of cultural, social and mental disintegration.

Public-sector partners of the Best Scheme competition include National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Ministry of Health, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC). Several private-sector entities are also on board.