MONTEGO BAY — The second phase of the Spanish Jamaica Foundation (SJF) environmental awareness programme, aimed at safeguarding and promoting a cleaner environment in the city of Montego Bay, was launched on July 8, 2011, with the handing over of 10 garbage skips to the Local Authority in that city.
The first phase of the programme, which was implemented a few weeks ago, involved an environmental educational campaign in four schools in and around the Montego Bay area. The overall project, which is being implemented under the theme: ‘Help to keep your beautiful city clean’, is being done at a cost of approximately $2 million.
Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica and President of the Spanish Jamaica Foundation, Her Excellency Celsa Nuno, in her address at the handing over ceremony, held at the Pier 1 Restaurant in Montego Bay, noted that since its inception in 2006, the Spanish Jamaica Foundation has been committed to the growth of the people of Jamaica, through projects which have an educational scope.
She said that the world in general is facing an increasing threat from damage to the environment, and argued that Jamaicans should be concerned about pollution, especially bearing in mind that a major attraction to its booming tourism market is based on its sun, sea and sand availability.
"The awareness of this situation is what has led the Spanish Jamaica Foundation to partner with key stakeholders in the Montego Bay area, in order to support efforts undertaken to reduce damage caused by pollution to the marine environment along the Montego Bay coastline,” the Ambassador said.
She appealed to residents of the inner-city communities in which the garbage skips will be placed to develop a sense of ownership, and to view them as useful and key elements to achieving and maintaining cleaner and healthier surroundings.
Meanwhile, Minister of Water, Environment and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang, said that matters to deal with the environment are fundamental to sustainable development, but is more applicable to Montego Bay, as Tourism is in the main activity in the city and this is dependent on a clean environment.
He noted that the government has been implementing a number of programmes, and upgrading the infrastructure in a number of informal settlements, which should help in minimising pollution and environmental degradation.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter