JIS News

Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Portia Simpson-Miller has encouraged residents of Old Harbour, St. Catherine, to take full advantage of the “development possibilities” that will come about with the opening of Highway 2000.
“The successful implementation of Highway 2000 across this area has opened up many development possibilities and I hope that you’ll grasp these possibilities,” the Minister said.
She was addressing students, representatives of private and Government organisations and residents at a community exposition, held yesterday (November 24) at Ascot Hall in Old Harbour.
The event was organised by the Old Harbour Development Area Committee (OHDAC), in collaboration with the Social Development Commission (SDC), Region 5, under the theme: ‘Sustained Community Development Through Active Participation’.
Over 25 organisations participated in the event, which aimed to showcase what was happening in the area and to encourage citizens to participate. Minister Simpson-Miller proposed the preparation of a modern development plan for several areas in the parish, “to ensure that real growth with real jobs and opportunities for training are created for the unemployed.”
She said that the implementation of this plan would require a strong partnership between citizens, Central Government and the private sector.
Emphasising the need for community involvement and development, Minister Simpson-Miller challenged the SDC and political representatives to see that community expositions were held in other districts in the parish.
“When we get the citizens mobilised and involved, it is the best way to ensure that emerging signs of economic growth and expansion will become secure and sustainable. That will lead to our citizens sharing in the benefit,” the Minister said.
Chairman of OHDAC, Dr. Joseph Lindsay, in his presentation said Old Harbour was one of the fastest growing communities in Jamaica. He noted the rapid development of housing schemes, and plans to establish a number of ‘mega’ projects, including the exploration for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Port Esquivel area.
Dr. Lindsay called for greater emphasis on education at all levels and said that with the advent of projects in the area, “we need to be able to supply skilled workers to participate in these developments”.
The Old Harbour Development Area consists of six main communities – Old Harbour, Old Harbour Bay, Bartons, Browns Hall, Ginger Ridge and Bellas Gate. Other speakers at the event were Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr. Raymoth Notice; Chairman of the St. Catherine Parish Development Committee, Dr. Trevor Dewdney and Executive Director of the SDC, Robert Bryan.

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