JIS News

A task force is being set up to facilitate a national clean-up programme for the country.

The task force, which will be seeking to restore public order in the society, will be headed by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, and will include other Ministers of Government.

“I am going to extend an invitation to a member of the Opposition to sit with us and to give suggestions. Jamaica must be more mature in how we do and operate things,” said Mr. McKenzie, as he made his contribution to the 2022/23 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 25.

The Minister highlighted persons in the construction industry and at the domestic level who continue to carry out practices that endanger citizens in very direct ways.

One such practice is that of having sand, gravel and blocks unloaded on the sidewalk, thereby forcing pedestrians to walk in the road and into the path of motor vehicles.

“As a country, we need to have some civic pride. We see where developers carrying out construction have taken hold of our sidewalks, our bus stops… they deposit the sand, the gravel on the ground. The public cannot access the roadways… the sidewalks are taken,” Mr. McKenzie said.

“I want Jamaica to join us in returning public order back to our streets. We welcome developments, but we want it to be done in an orderly and in a structured way,” he added.

Meanwhile, the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) collected just over 903,000 tonnes of waste in the last fiscal year, at a cost of $850.3 million.

Mr. McKenzie said a mobile app that was developed in 2021 to report littering in public spaces and illegal dumping continues to generate significant support.

“With the assistance of the app, the Authority was made aware of the location of 302 illegal dumpsites across the island. Investigations into 194 of these have already been concluded,” Mr. McKenzie noted.

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