The Government will be undertaking a major mitigation, sanitation, drain-cleaning and beautification programme at a cost of $1.3 billion.
The programme, to be executed over the next few months up to February 2020, will be implemented by the National Works Agency (NWA) and the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), with the Ministry of Health and Wellness providing guidance.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who made the disclosure during a statement to the House of Representatives on Tuesday (November 12), said that the programme will take on a national focus and will be driven by the needs of each constituency, as advised by the members of Parliament (MPs).
“The work that we expect to be undertaken would be clearing and cleaning of blocked drains and gullies, de-bushing, clearing and cleaning of roadsides, gully banks, median and verges; collecting municipal waste and cleaning and beautification of public spaces,” he said.
He noted that these areas of work will reinforce the mosquito/vector-control programme.
“I am expecting that we are going to see every single member of Parliament out there with their constituency workers and civil society people mobilised to ensure that we can reduce the environmental factors in the cause of dengue,” he said.
Under the programme, each constituency will receive $15 million, broken down as follows – $4 million for bushing and drain cleaning, $3 million for sanitation and beautification, $3 million for vector control, and $5 million for patching of potholes/minor road repairs.
Mr. Holness said that MPs will be allowed flexibility in reallocating funds for bushing, drain cleaning, sanitation and beautification based on the needs in their constituencies. However, a minimum of $1.5 million must be spent on sanitation and beautification works, which will be administered by the NSWMA.
Mr. Holness noted, further, that MPs will not be able to reallocate the $5 million for patching and minor repairs, or the funds for vector control, to any other area.
“I have directed that strict observance to the Government’s procurement rules and guidelines must be observed in undertaking this programme, and persons will be held accountable,” the Prime Minister said.
He informed that the Integrity Commission has been invited to provide the requisite oversight for the implementation of the programme, and he expects that the Commission will respond positively in this regard.