JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Residents of Linstead, St. Catherine, are to benefit from a Community Resource Centre (CRC), which is to be constructed at a cost of $16 million.
  • Ground was broken on November 12 for the erection of the building at 1 Rodney Avenue in the town.
  • It will be among 25 being established in targeted communities across the island under Phase II of the $1.4 billion Community Empowerment and Transformation Project (COMET II).

Residents of Linstead, St. Catherine, are to benefit from a Community Resource Centre (CRC), which is to be constructed at a cost of $16 million.

Ground was broken on November 12 for the erection of the building at 1 Rodney Avenue in the town.

It will be among 25 being established in targeted communities across the island under Phase II of the $1.4 billion Community Empowerment and Transformation Project (COMET II).

The initiative is being undertaken by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Government.

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, who welcomed the initiative, noted that the resource centre will be critical to the continued growth of Linstead and surrounding communities.

“This Government is committed to the task of developing our communities. Our aim is to build strong, resourceful, caring communities where each individual and each household is valued and their contribution is celebrated. I believe that the Linstead CRC will play an integral part in the achievement of these goals,” the Minister said.

Mr. Pickersgill said he is pleased that the CRC to be constructed will be an environmentally friendly building.

“This CRC will be outfitted with water catchment facilities, solar panels, environmentally safe waste disposal, and disaster risk reduction equipment,” he added.

For her part, USAID Mission Director to Jamaica, Denise Herbol, said the groundbreaking under COMET II is a true reflection of what USAID stands for – the commitment to promote community-driven change.

She noted that the centre will provide a home for future community-driven and safety initiatives. It will also provide an opportunity for enterprise creation, income generation, youth skills training, conflict resolution training, parenting and life skills training, sporting and recreational activities, and also disaster risk meetings.

“Today, we may be breaking ground for a new shared space, but it’s much more than that. It’s a shared vision for a brighter future. We are building a path for stronger and more positive relationships within the community,” she said.

The 25 targeted communities which will benefit from the establishment of the centres are located in the parishes of St. Catherine, Kingston, St. Andrew, Clarendon and St. James.

The community centres will include offices for Community Development Committees/community-based organisations, community-based policing, and a civic space for business enterprise activities.

Two centres have already been opened in Rockfort, Kingston,  and Gregory Park in St. Catherine.

The Linstead CRC will be owned, managed and administered by the Linstead Community Development Committee.

COMET II seeks to build safer communities through strengthening community and civil society organisations, increasing citizen co-operation and accountability, strengthening juvenile justice and at-risk youth programmes, and improving community policing practices.

One of the core objectives of the project is to promote community-driven activities to contribute to crime prevention, by addressing the underlying causes of crime and improving communications and interactions between the citizenry and police.

COMET II’s project partners include the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Social Development Commission (SDC) and the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) Community Renewal Programme.