Managing Director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Omar Sweeney, says the $252-million zinc-fence removal programme being undertaken by the entity aims to ensure the safety and security of residents in the targeted communities.
“The removal of zinc fencing… is an important aspect of what has to be done to ensure that the police can enter the communities and do what they have to do without the fear of persons hiding behind a zinc fence,” Mr. Sweeney pointed out.
“When you have up the big zinc fence, thinking you are protecting yourself, you are actually making it more unsafe and instead help persons to hide from the police,” he added
He said the programme will also aim to beautify communities by replacing the zinc fencing with more aesthetically pleasing materials.
Mr. Sweeny was addressing the launch of the programme in Barrett Town, St. James, on March 24.
Approximately $18 million will be spent to remove and replace 492 metres of zinc fencing in the districts of Bottom Vietnam Road, Top Vietnam Road, Walkway and Saigon top side from Blount Street and Vietnam in Barrett Town.
Member of Parliament for East Central St. James and Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, said the zinc-fence removal is part of a development programme for Barrett Town, which started with refurbishing of the community complex to provide a multipurpose court for tennis, volleyball, basketball and a field for scrimmage football and cricket.
“There will be an emphasis on programmes for the youth,” Mr. Bartlett emphasised. “The Social Development Commission (SDC) and the police are to be involved in building out a marching band and steel band in the community,” he noted.
He informed that some $3 million has been identified for the marching band, adding that instruments are being procured.
As it relates to the rest of the constituency, Mr. Bartlett said that discussions are advanced with the National Water Commission (NWC) to boost water supply from the Martha Brae River in Trelawny.
“They have already received $10 million and will be getting another $100 million to do the Canaan Well, to ensure that the entire East Central all the way to Johns Hall has dependable, potable water that will transform the quality of live for the people in those areas,” he indicated.
The zinc-fence removal programme is being implemented through JSIF’s Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), and will benefit 11 communities in six parishes.
In addition to Barrett Town, other beneficiary communities are Hannah Town, Denham Town, Rose Town, Greenwich Town and Maxfield Park in Kingston and St. Andrew; Canaan Heights and York Town in Clarendon; Steer Town, St. Ann; Barrett Town and Granville in St James; and Russia, Westmoreland.
Article by: Garwin Davis
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm