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Story Highlights

  • The two-day clean up exercise conducted in Portmore, St. Catherine, on Saturday and Sunday (November 8 and 9), is being hailed as a major success.
  • The engagement, which was a collaboration led by the National Health Emergency Response Secretariat and Portmore Municipal Council, and involved other key stakeholders, entailed extensive drain cleaning in the 27 targeted communities.
  • Communities from which debris was removed include: Bridgeport; Greater Portmore; Independence City; Marine Park; Naggo Head; Newlands; Portmore Pines; and Westchester.

The two-day clean up exercise conducted in Portmore, St. Catherine, on Saturday and Sunday (November 8 and 9), is being hailed as a major success.

Logistics Coordinator for the Government’s National Health Emergency Response Programme, Colonel Daniel Pryce, and Portmore’s Acting Mayor, Councillor Leon Thomas, have praised the inputs of public and private sector stakeholders facilitating implementation of the activities that targeted the eradication of mosquito breeding sites, in response to the prevailing Chikungunya Virus (Chik-V) outbreak.

The engagement, which was a collaboration led by the National Health Emergency Response Secretariat and Portmore Municipal Council, and involved other key stakeholders, entailed extensive drain cleaning in the 27 targeted communities.

Additionally, it involved the disposal of discarded household and industrial items, such as old stoves, refrigerators, and tyres which served as breeding sites for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito that transmits Chik-V.

Colonel Pryce and Councillor Thomas told JIS News that over 64 truckloads material were removed from communities to designated disposal sites over the two days.

Communities from which debris was removed include: Bridgeport; Greater Portmore; Independence City; Marine Park; Naggo Head; Newlands; Portmore Pines; and Westchester.

Colonel Pryce said the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) pooled their resources by utilizing trucks and other heavy equipment from their fleets, along with similar provisions from the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), and private sector partners, to conduct the engagement.

He said citizens were alerted to the activity, via town criers, and encouraged to place their household and industrial refuse at strategic locations for collection, as well as to participate in the general clean-up exercise, in whatever way they could.

“This is a very good example of public-private partnership. I am particularly pleased..with…and heartened by the level of organization by the (Portmore) Municipal Council…and demonstration of able leadership (by) the Acting Mayor. He has really put together a solid plan and we (Secretariat and other external stakeholders) basically, just dovetailed into his plan…and (the collaboration has worked well),” Colonel Pryce said.

This was in reference to the Council’s community cleanup and mosquito breeding site eradication programme, initiated in July.

It was undertaken following community assessments by the St. Catherine Health Department, which, based on its findings, recommended the intervention that has, to some extent, reduced the mosquito’s prevalence.

Colonel Pryce also highlighted and commended the inputs of the National Works Agency (NWA), Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), and NSWMA, on their roles in the past weekend’s activities.

“I think it’s a good example of joined-up government, and what we can do, working together for one common aim. I think that has worked very well, here, in these communities of Portmore,” he added.

Councillor Thomas said he, too, is satisfied and pleased with the level of participation, inputs, and outputs by participants at all levels.

“The national (emergency health response) programme joined with us at the Portmore Municipal Council and National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), and (together) we are now dealing with (the situation). I am pleased, because I know that (this engagement) is (going to yield) great success for the municipality,” he said.

Support for the two-day cleanup was also provided by the Ministries of Health, and Local Government and Community Development.

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