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OVER $17 MILLION TO HELP FIGHT BEET ARMY WORM

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, said that $17.7 million has been allocated to assist farmers who were impacted by the beet army worm, especially in sections of Manchester and St. Elizabeth.
 

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Southern Regional Health Authority and Fontana Pharmacy Empower New Parents

The Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) in partnership with Fontana Pharmacy on Thursday, May 18, launched a “Best for Mommy and Baby” initiative at the Mandeville Regional Hospital, to empower new parents.

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CABINET DECISION PENDING ON REVISED WATER SECTOR POLICY

Cabinet is expected to review and approve a revised Water Sector Policy for Jamaica shortly, as disclosed by Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who said the Policy commits the Government to providing universal access to improved water services for all Jamaicans by 2030. Dr. Chang said that the Policy represents the Administration’s decisive approach to addressing the challenges that many Jamaicans experience with the lack of adequate and reliable potable water, particularly in rural communities.  

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OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED FOR EARLY-CHILDHOOD SECTOR

An Oversight Committee, headed by Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan, has been established to oversee the development of a comprehensive strategy to revitalise the vision for Jamaican children eight years and younger as stated by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid on May 5.The Oversight Committee will have responsibility for reviewing progress made in the early-childhood-development (ECD) sector against established Government targets and against internationally accepted ECD targets.

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FUNDS IDENTIFIED FOR FEASIBILITY STUDY ON GLOBAL IMMIGRATION CARD
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PICA TO IMPLEMENT INITIATIVES TO IMPROVE SERVICE

The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) will be implementing various initiatives over the next two years to significantly improve customer experience and reduce the waiting time to access and obtain services at the entity. Chief Executive Officer at PICA, Andrew Wynter, said that already, the agency has improved operations by extending its working hours at the Kingston office.  “About three weeks ago, we began offering full services from 6:30 a.m.  Normally, we would open at 6:30 then persons would come in and wait for two hours before we begin operation, but now we have an early shift so the public can be served and processed from that time,” he noted, adding that very soon, the entity will be implementing an online service that will allow persons to apply for their passport online.

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TEACHERS RECOGNISED IN SOUTH WEST ST. ELIZABETH
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GOVERNMENT TO TAKE OVER PRIVATE EARLY CHILDHOOD INSTITUTIONS
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COMMUNITIES ENCOURAGED TO BE PROACTIVE IN PROTECTING CHILDREN

State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, is encouraging residents to be more proactive in safeguarding children in their neighbourhoods.  “Be vigilant in your communities, once you suspect something, make a report. The law says if you know something, you must say something,” he said.  Minister Green was speaking at a Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) Parenting Education Project graduation and recognition ceremony, organised by the Ministry, at St. Gabriel’s Anglican Church in May Pen, Clarendon, on May 4.  

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JAMAICA TO EARN FROM REDUCTION OF GHG EMISSIONS
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FIRE STATIONS TO BE IMPROVED

Posted by SR on May 18 2017
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Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, said that the Government will be spending significant sums to improve the condition of fire stations across the island, noting that repair work is already underway at the Buff Bay and Port Antonio stations in Portland and more than $6 million will be spent to construct a perimeter fence at the Negril facility in Westmoreland.Minister McKenzie informed that funding has been provided to upgrade the courtyard at the Junction Fire Station in St. Elizabeth and he has asked the Mayor of Black River to provide an estimate to undertake the necessary repairs at the Black River station.
The Minister said that funds will also be provided to retrofit two fire units in Westmoreland so that they can be brought back into use. Minister McKenzie was speaking at a ceremony at the Junction Fire Station on Friday, May 12, where Japan’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Masanori Nakano, officially handed over three fire-fighting trucks and a water tanker to serve St. Elizabeth and adjoining parishes.

Minister McKenzie said that the Government recognises that the men and women who put their lives at risk as our first responders must be given the requisite tools with which to execute their jobs.  We want to ensure that the environment in which they live and from which they operate, is conducive to good work. Minister McKenzie expressed gratitude to the people and Government of Japan for the units, noting that many communities will benefit and informed that come early June, Japan will be donating two state-of-the-art command vehicles to complement the fleet of the fire brigade.
 
The Minister noted that Japan has been a key partner in the strengthening of local governance, recently signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) worth millions of Jamaican dollars, with the Government for the installation of a new telecommunications system to assist the country’s disaster response, adding that within the last three months, the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has received two new tipper trucks from Japan to assist with garbage collection. Ambassador Nakano, in the meantime, said the provision of units is in keeping with the strong collaboration and cooperation between the countries.  “Japan is happy to know that from today onwards, the Junction and Black River fire brigade will now have the emergency resources to provide urgent attention and care for the people within the parish of St. Elizabeth and adjoining territories,” he noted. `The Ambassador said the use of the trucks should result in less fire-related disasters, ultimately saving precious lives and valuable property.

Acting Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Mr. Raymond Spencer, noted that the fire units will increase the response capability and provide greater coverage for St. Elizabeth, Manchester and Westmoreland, informing that he has had discussions with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) regarding training opportunities for fire personnel in areas such as hazardous waste, operations response, marine firefighting, urban search and rescue, swift and static water rescue, among others.The units were acquired through grant funding under Japan’s Grant Funding Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects.

Last changed: May 18 2017 at 9:56 AM

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