JIS News

Most of the rehabilitation work on the Kingston Harbour has been completed under the US$500,000 Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) two-year project with the remainder on track for completion next month.
Project Coordinator at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Cowell Lyn informed JIS News that the rehabilitation programme is in the final stages of completion.
“We are really into the final stages. Each component of the project had four sets of deliverables and two of the components have submitted their total deliverables, numbers one, two, three and four. The other two components have completed up to deliverable three and its only deliverable four that is outstanding on two of the four components. So we are about to complete the programme in another month,” Mr. Lyn explained.
The rehabilitation project, which began in July 2003 and titled “Institutional Strengthening for Enhancement of the Environment Management for the Kingston Harbour”, is being carried out in four components. These include: Institutional Strengthening; Development of a Physical Plan for Kingston Harbour; Improving Environmental Performance of Industries Discharging to Kingston Harbour and, Development of Documentation and Tender Documents for a Ship-Generated Waste Reception Facility.
“Over the past two years we’ve been carrying out these initiatives to try to strengthen the capacities in the related institutions for better management of the harbour,” the Project Coordinator explained. Mr. Lyn informed that most of the funds have been spent on Component A, the major aspect of the programme. A firm of consultants have been hired to develop the institutional framework to strengthen and improve the management of the harbour.
“In addition Component A is to deliver a water quality monitoring model, a numerical model that could be used to monitor the water quality in the bay and to model the dispersion of any pollutants that maybe coming in,” Mr. Lyn also explained.
Other works that have been carried out include the development of enforcement strategies to eliminate and reduce the impact of harmful discharges from various industries located near the harbour.
Initiatives have also been made to encourage and help neighbouring industries with the implementation of measures to upgrade their production processes in order to reduce the harmful discharge of waste into the harbour and its environs. In addition, a loan fund is also being developed to assist the industries to carry out their operations with less harmful effects to the harbour.
Further developments include the provision of bids to prospective investors to build ship waste reception facilities in the ports in order to assist vessels in discharging their waste in an environmentally friendly manner. The public education and outreach aspect of the project has also begun, with the organization having visited schools to educate students about proper ways to treat and care the harbour.
Mr. Lyn points out however that though the project is on course to be completed, more work could still be done with more cooperation and assistance from stakeholders.
“A number of private and public sector institutions have to be motivated to buy into some of these solutions that the project has been promoting and the most challenging aspects of the projects has been in trying to encourage these institutions to buy into the project and integrate all the various interests who have responsibilities for managing certain aspects of the use of the harbour or contributing resources to the management of the harbour,” he explained.
He further noted that all stakeholders including the general public stood to benefit at large as with the improvements to the harbour more economic opportunities could be derived. “We have come to realize that if we were to emphasize the economic benefits of maintaining a healthy harbour then that might more effectively motivate all the various key players to come on board and contribute towards the rehabilitation and good management of the harbour,” Mr. Lyn noted.
He is also urging support for the projects achievements. “When our master plan and zoning proposals are published take note of them and do whatever is necessary to support the proposal,” he noted. The Government of Jamaica has also funded the project in the sum of US$120,000.