Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says that residents in Mount Salem, St. James and Denham Town in Kingston, where the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSO) are in progress, are benefitting from a wide range
These, he said, include infrastructure development projects, skills training and initiatives aimed at improving access to critical services.
In Mount Salem, the National Works Agency (NWA) is spearheading a project to improve the condition of roads and drains in the community.
The works commenced in January and is scheduled to continue until March.
“I am particularly heartened about the work that the NWA will do in terms of putting in drains and repairing roads and gullies and where possible, we have already started to replace the zinc fences with proper fencing,” Prime Minister Holness said in the House of Representatives on February 13.
The zinc fence removal project is scheduled to conclude in April 2018.
Already, residents have benefitted from community service fairs, utility regularisation, recruitment for skills training and apprenticeship, civil registration and identification and training of community animators.
“There have also been community safety and environmental projects, which focus on physical improvements as well as social engagements such as the unity concert and church community retreat, which have aimed to build
internal relationships,” Prime Minister Holness noted.
Focus has also been placed on enterprise development, with the joint security force, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), and HEART Trust/NTA collaborating to promote an environment for the development of small
Activities have included the regularisation of bars and food services, through the provision of spirit licences and food handlers’ permits.
There has been a call for proposals in furtherance of enterprise grant funding. This programme commenced in January and is expected to continue until December.
Another project being implemented is a community sports programme involving partnership among JSIF, Social Development Commission (SDC),
Sports Development Foundation (SDF), Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Jamaica Cycling Federation, Jamaica Table Tennis Association, and Jamaica Boxing Federation.
The initiative, which is scheduled for 12 months, will provide training and equipment, the Prime Minister informed. It will set the foundation for a permanent sports programme in the area.
In addition, through collaboration between the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and JSIF, the capacity of the community development committee is being developed and a neighbourhood watch is being re-introduced.
The Prime Minister noted that the importance of family is also being emphasized. He said it is anticipated that as the operations continue, a number of other projects will be brought into focus.
With regards to Denham Town, Mr. Holness said there continues to be significant gains in the zone and the efforts are welcomed and supported by the members of the community.
“Undoubtedly, this is supported by the commendable efforts of the joint force in maintaining law and order so that safety and security becomes a critical pillar in community development,” Prime Minister Holness said.
During the month of January, the social intervention committee consolidated planning activities for a number of initiatives, and commenced the implementation of specific programmes.
In terms of improvements to the physical environment, there has been continued focus on zinc fence substitution and infrastructure development.
Just over 400 metres of fence have been completed in Denham Town, with approximately 75 metres being erected in Reggae Villa.
The JSIF-funded Integrated Infrastructure Project (IIP), which will encompass major infrastructure works, including road and sewage upgrading, is currently in the bidding stage of procurement and is expected to commence
implementation in the first quarter of the financial year 2018/2019.
The Zones of Special Operations in Mount Salem and Denham Town have been extended for a further 60 days.
The Lower House approved two Resolutions requesting the extensions, which were moved by Prime Minister Holness.
This would be the third extension for the Mount Salem Zone, the first to become operational on September 1, 2017, while it will be the second extension for Denham Town.