JIS News

The Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, toured the Flankers and Lilliput communities in Montego Bay Friday (July 16), to view upgrading projects the Ministry of Water and Housing, the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and other agencies are spearheading.
Speaking with Journalists at the end of the tour, the Prime Minister pointed out that it was part of his Government’s recognition of squatting as a major problem, and its intention to move assiduously to cauterize it.
He said that different ways and means have been adopted to discourage persons from squatting, and to prevent new incidents of squatting, but programmes are now being put in place to attend to those areas that already have squatters.
“We have to approach that with different types of treatment; there are some areas where they have to be relocated.that takes time and it takes a lot of money. There are instances where they can be regularized where they are, and what the Ministry of Water and Housing does, is that it goes into those areas, identify the householders, conduct surveys, subdivide the land, we give them their titles and, while we are doing all of that, we are upgrading the infrastructure in the community,” he explained.
He said that proper roads, water supply, drainage and a number of social programmes are being implemented in these communities, with a view to improving the community’s outlook about itself, and to encourage some amount of pride among residents.
“It is not something that we can accomplish in any one fiscal year; this is a programme you just have to continue each year to do as much as you can until, eventually, you would have broken the back of this backlog of problems,” he observed.
However, he added that he is encouraged by the attitude of the people who live in these communities and the extent to which they are making efforts to improve the quality of their own homes, as well as the community development initiatives being implemented by a variety of organisations.
At the end of the tour of Flanker, Prime Minister Golding presented a cheque on behalf of JSIF, valued at $3.36 million, to the President of the Flanker’s Community Committee, Baldwin Dulston.
Mr. Dulston explained that his committee is responsible for a host of social programmes being implemented in Flanker under the auspices of JSIF.
“This project is not only geared towards infrastructure, but it also looks at the empowerment of our community members and the development of our community pride”, he explained. He said that the cheque is to enhance projects, such as zinc fence removal, and is the final tranche.
“We are on the final stage of the construction work, but we are still looking at the human aspect as it relates to education,” he stated.
Also on the tour were Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang; Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett; CEO of JSIF, Scarlett Gillings; Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Charles Sinclair Jnr.; and officers of the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ).

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