The Westmoreland Municipal Corporation has received equipment valued at $7.8 million from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), to assist the technical work carried out by various departments for the development of the parish.
The items include Geo-Information Systems (GIS) tools including four handheld tablets, eight desktop computers, a laptop, a 42-inch plotter for printing plans and blueprints, a heavy duty printer, and a drone.
Managing Director of JSIF, Omar Sweeney, in his address at the handing over ceremony held at the Municipal Corporation building in Savanna-La-Mar on Friday (November 20), said that the devices will enhance the work of the local authority in sustaining community development.
He noted that the employees will receive the requisite training to effectively utilise the tools.
Mr. Sweeny informed that the pieces of equipment are being provided under the Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), which is being implemented by JSIF through a US$42 million loan from the World Bank.
“We will be supporting six parish councils with the necessary tools, which we believe are essential for you to sustain and carry out the necessary work to support the development of communities in the parish,” he said.
Mayor of Savanna-La-Mar, Bertel Moore, in expressing gratitude to JSIF, said the equipment will improve service delivery at the Municipal Corporation.
“I have some staff here, they are hard workers. They try to deliver the best service they can and I think in getting these equipment, it will even help them more to deliver the type of service that we, in Westmoreland, try to give to the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senior Social Development Officer at JSIF, Shunelle Nevers, told JIS News that a key component of the ICDP project is to provide institutional strengthening and capacity building through technical assistance.
“It is important to highlight that JSIF does not stay in these communities. We respond to a need and then we exit, so it is very imperative that JSIF builds the capacity of the agencies that are directly responsible for the day-to-day lives of the citizens that we serve,” she pointed out.
The ICDP, which was launched in 2014, is expected to end in May 2021. Component 3 of the programme is geared at community development and institutional strengthening of government agencies.
The other Municipal Corporations to benefit from support are Kingston and St. Andrew, St. James, Clarendon, St. Catherine and St. Ann.