National clean-up programme on the horizon
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has described the ongoing work to clean up the Dyke Road in St Catherine under the ‘Clean Jamaica’ campaign as the test run for a national clean-up programme, details of which are still to be finalised.
Indications are that while some work carried out under the programme will attract payment, thought is being given to have some of the work done voluntarily, similar to the country’s national Labour Day projects.
Holness made the announcement on Friday, August 12, while addressing a ceremony for the unveiling of a life-sized statue of former Prime Minister and National Hero Sir Alexander Bustamante, held at the Hanover Parish Library on Watson Taylor Drive in Lucea.
“The Government is contemplating a programme of national clean-up for communities,” said Holness. “Whenever we say this, people think of the Government paying for clean-up work. There will be some elements of that, but the country can’t be so transactional that I have to pay you to keep your gate clean.”
Making specific reference to the work carried out on the Dyke Road, he said; “So we are going to be announcing some efforts in that regard. You would have seen Minister Desmond McKenzie starting what we call the test run in a critical area, cleaning up the Dyke Road. We will be doing others, but we want to engage the citizens, the communities, in trying to keep our communities clean. That is a part of our national pride,” he stated.
Holness argued that it is each person’s civic duty to keep his respective space clean.
Appealing to the dignity and pride of all Jamaicans, he said “it must be repulsive to us to see this (uncleanliness) in front of our gates”.
Work on the Dyke Road started on Thursday, August 11, and according to Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie, the work will continue for a week.
“The work on the Dyke Road is being coordinated by the National Solid Waste Management Authority, working closely with the member of parliament and councillor for the area, and getting support from the security forces,” McKenzie told the media on Thursday.
He said further that the clean-up is in response to concerns by the Jamaica Constabulary Force regarding the condition of the area, which, in recent times, has been used as a hideout by criminals.
No details were given by the prime minster as to how other areas set to benefit under the programme will be chosen.