Some 3.6 kilometre of roadway between Moore Town and Cornwall Barracks in the Rio Grande Valley area of Portland, will be rehabilitated shortly.
Under the agreement, the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) will provide $39.29 million, while the Moore Town Maroon Council will contribute $6.84 million.
It is being funded through a grant under the European Union Banana Support Programme (EUBSP), aimed at improving access to social and economic infrastructure in traditional banana growing rural communities.
Guest Speaker and Board Chairman for the Moore Town Primary and Junior High School, Dr. Emanuel Obasare, delivers the main address at the signing ceremony between the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF),and the Moore Town Maroon Council at the School on Tuesday August 24. Some 3.6 km of roadway is to be rehabilitated between Moore Town and Cornwall Barracks in the Rio Grande Valley, Portland.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, held at the Moore Town Primary and Junior High School in the Rio Grande Valley, yesterday (August 24), Managing Director of JSIF, Scarlette Gillings said since the Fund’s inception in 1996, 31 per cent of the J$4.5 billion approved for projects have been invested in rural farm roads.
She said JSIF recognises the importance of the country’s road network as a vital element in the economic and social activities of its communities.
Mrs. Gillings added that the rehabilitation of agricultural roads was an important aspect in improving people’s livelihoods, especially where agriculture is the main generator of wealth and employment.
Stating that the Moore Town community is “poised to benefit from agriculture and tourism-based products,” she said JSIF will be embarking on further investments through the Rural Agricultural Development Initiative (REDI).
“This programme is geared towards improving farming methods and market access for farmers and tourism service providers,” she added.
Also speaking at the signing, Board Chairman of the Moore Town Primary and Junior High School, Dr. Emanuel Obasare, implored the residents to play their part in ensuring that the project is successful.
“We must recognise and support projects that will impact the lives of generations to come,” he added.
Member of Parliament for East Portland, Dr. Donald Rhodd, thanked JSIF for its responsiveness to the needs of the people in the Rio Grande Valley.
“The repair to roads in rural townships and districts will significantly contribute to their development,” he said.
Also bringing greetings were, Deputy Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Derron Wood; Social Development Commission Parish Manager for Portland, Ishiwawa Hope; and Lecturer in Environmental Chemistry, Professor Mark Harris, at the Northern Caribbean University.
Approximately 1,500 residents from Moore Town, Cornwall Barracks, and the adjoining communities of Comfort Castle and Mill Bank, will benefit from the improved roads. Work includes the construction of V drains, U drains, curb and channel drains, and retaining walls.