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Emergency Drain Cleaning for Falmouth -Ministry to release $6m to undertake work

FALMOUTH, Trelawny: Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Honourable Desmond McKenzie, says emergency drain cleaning will be undertaken in Falmouth to stem the dengue outbreak and safeguard public health.

According to the Minister, the Government intends to “respond in a positive way” given the urgency of the mosquito-borne illness.

“We’re going to be moving expeditiously to address the problems affecting garbage collection. The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is here, and we have already made arrangements for some garbage skips to be placed at strategic locations in the constituency.”

Information from the Health Ministry indicates that the number of presumed, suspected and confirmed dengue cases increased to 1,060 as at September 29. Of that number,132 are confirmed dengue cases with the type 2 strain dominating the confirmed case count.

All parishes have recorded dengue cases with Kingston & St. Andrew, St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Portland, and St. James recording the most confirmed cases.  The 5 to 14-year-old age cohort continues to be the most affected, followed by persons 25-59 years old.

The resources for the emergency response to the dengue outbreak will be guided through the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA). Clean-up programmes will begin in the areas identified by the Ministry of Health and Wellness and then extend to other communities.

“There has to be a shared responsibility by Jamaicans in the fight against dengue and the protracted fight that we have in ensuring that we have a clean country,” Minister McKenzie noted.

He was speaking during a visit to North Trelawny on October 6 to assess parochial roads, indigent housing, street lighting, and rural electrification, among other services, in several communities.

Member of Parliament, Tova Hamilton, and Councillors of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation led by Mayor of Falmouth, His Worship Collen Gager, were also present.

Minister McKenzie assured residents of New Town that the Government remained committed to addressing the road conditions as well as challenges with street lighting and electrification to improve safety and accessibility for residents.

An indigent house each will also be built in New Town, and Princess Street, Falmouth.

There are also plans to revitalise and modernise the Wakefield Market, including the relocation of the postal agency to the premises.

“The Social Development Commission (SDC) is going to be playing a critical part in Trelawny Northern and they are going to be working on a comprehensive community programme using the community centre facility in Falmouth,” Mr. McKenzie outlined.

“The SDC will [implement] one of its entrepreneurial programmes where some 120 persons will benefit. Persons will be able to invest in small businesses and will benefit from that programme.”