JIS News

Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has designated September 29 and 30 for a massive all island clean-up exercise that will engage Jamaicans in removing all remaining traces of hurricane debris and restoring the physical ambience of the island’s communities and towns.
The activity is part of the recovery response following the passage of Hurricane Dean on August 19.Speaking at (Sept.17) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Mr. Golding said that estimates received from the Ministries of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security and Transport and Works, indicate that the damage from the category four storm is estimated at $18 billion.
He told journalists that discussions will be held with a number of agencies including the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service on Wednesday (Sept. 19), to look at the recovery programme to see “how that can be funded, to look at the assistance that we have so far received from local and external sources with a view to bring into Cabinet next week Monday (Sept. 24), a detailed consolidated submission seeking approval for initiatives that we hope we will be able to undertake in response to the suffering that is being caused.”
According to the Prime Minister, two days were selected for the national clean up exercise to ensure the full participation of all religious groups. “We have specifically spread it over two days because we know that there are Sabbath keepers, who would not be prepared to work on a Saturday and we know that there are Sunday worshippers, who would not be prepared to work on a Sunday. We are straddling the weekend to accommodate basically all the religious faiths,” he said.
Mr. Golding noted that the clean-up effort is necessary as many persons are still living in shelters or in houses that are roofless or severely damaged. “We have, I believe, still some six shelters that are still accommodating victims, who have not been able to return to their homes because of the damage or destruction done to their homes, so it is a matter that we are going to have to respond to with great urgency,” he pointed out.
The Prime Minister appealed to all Jamaicans to participate in the exercise. “We are appealing to all Jamaicans; we are appealing to communities, to civic associations, to community-based organisations and to individuals in the community,” he urged. Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange is in charge of the clean-up programme, while Head of the Office of National Reconstruction, Kingsley Thomas and entrepreneur Michael Ammar will co-ordinate the exercise.
The project will target main roads linking the airports, residential areas, commercial centres and other critical areas. President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, Mark Myers will be in charge of commercial centres; the National Solid Waste Management Authority, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the Ministry of Health and Environment will be in charge of the clean-up of residential and priority areas; while Robert Bryan of the Social Development Commission will be responsible for the clean-up of communities.
The clean-up exercise will involve the private sector, the Jamaica Council of Churches, citizens’ associations, non-governmental organisations, youth clubs, Jamaica Defence Force, Jamaica Constabulary Force, Jamaica Information Service, media associations and public relations entities, and utility and telecommunication companies. Miss Grange and Parliamentary Secretary in the Information, Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry, Warren Newby, also participated in yesterday’s press briefing.

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