Be patient, please - Derby
MAY PEN, Clarendon:
Project manager, Vernamfield Development, Oscar L. Derby, has asked for patience and understanding in the development of Vernamfield in Clarendon.
Derby made the comment during his keynote address at the fourth staging of the Annual Community Incentives and Grants Programme held on Wednesday at the Versalles Hotel in Longbridge, May Pen.
"We need to be patient and understand what it really takes to develop a country based on major projects of this nature. There are some projects which don't just happen overnight. It takes a lot of careful planning, doing implementation can be such that technology might not even be available today," he shared, drawing an analogy to The Netherlands project to stop the incursion of the North Sea into the land. This, he said, was completed in 2014 - 55 years after it started.
With the encouragement to think of Vernamfield not as an airport, but a city, Derby, who heads the project with an impressive record in aviation, said the trend in aviation is that airplanes are being built for long range and heavy lift. He pointed out that if Jamaica is to participate in the global aircraft system, then a long runway is required.
"There are two places in Jamaica that participate in such a long runway in Jamaica, and that is the southern plains of St Catherine, which has undergone development of residential communities that will intervene in those areas where a large airport with a long runway would be implemented," he said, adding that the only place that remains for such a project is Vernamfield.
A lot of work
He said the project which has already started can take up to 20 years to build out fully.
The Community Incentives and Grants Programme is aimed at bolstering community participation in development activities through rewards and incentives. The central objective is to create a platform for community groups and stake-holders to be given incentives and grants, parish manager of the Social Development Com-mission, Baldvin McKenzie, informed in his overview.
Among the winners on Wednesday at the ceremony were James Hill CDC - for Priority Planning and Project Development Award; Ministry of Labour copping the Parish Inter-Agency Network Award; Kellits CDC took home the prize for the Local Economic Development Support Award; and for Most Supportive Community Leader Floyd Smith, from Free Town/Sandy Bay CDC, took the award.
McKenzie urged the com-munity representatives to continue working and batting for their CDCs as their work were all 'award-winning' contributions.