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A $160 million contract for extensive beautification and environmental work in resort areas, over the next six months, has been signed between National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo).
Signing took place Tuesday (August 11) at a press briefing held at the Ministry of Tourism, New Kingston.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, stated that the project is a component of the Spruce Up Jamaica Programme launched in May, 2008.
“Every visitor who has come to the country in the period has indicated to us, positively, their feelings about the resort cities. The leaders of the land from every walk of life all comment about how the face of Jamaica has changed: The environment looks much better and the landscape looks far more manicured,” Mr. Bartlett said.
He said that this was important, not only for tourism, as the destination must remain pristine, but for giving Jamaicans a sense of pride.
“It offers us a feeling about ourselves which makes us want to do better, want to do more and remain organised and disciplined,” he said.
Executive Director of the NSWMA, Joan Gordon Webley, noted that the NWSMA will be cutting, grooming and cleaning drains that may run along the particular areas.
“We believe that while Jamaica is looking good in certain areas at this time, we can make it better and, based on what you have done, we at the NSWMA intend to do much more and to make you so proud that you will probably want to give us the whole tourism budget,” Mrs. Webley suggested.
She explained that in areas, such as Montego Bay in St. James, the medians that do not look as well as they should would have some focus placed on them in this project.
“We have already gone to invest in a sweeping machine for the medians only, so that rubble that goes down the centre is cleaned and looks well and we do not put anyone anyone at risk. It will not displace any worker because we have a lot of work to do,” she added.
The beautification project involves communities in and around the resort areas. It comprises a comprehensive clean up and maintenance exercise, including: supply and installation of top soil mixtures and accessories; supply and planting of plant materials, accessories and incidentals; six months maintenance; traffic control mechanisms ; cutting and clearing of undergrowth and overgrowth along the road ways, verges and medians and collection and disposal of garbage.
The programme will be supervised by TPDCo quality officers. The contract period runs to January 2010. The beautification work is also in preparation for the 2009 winter tourist season, which begins December 15 and will coincide with Tourism Awareness Week, December 13-19, 2009.

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