#Jamaica, April 13, 2018 – Kingston – Several social-intervention programmes are currently under way in the Denham Town community in West Kingston, which is currently a Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO). Speaking in the House of Representatives on April 11, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the Zinc Fence Substitution and Integrated Infrastructure Project is being implemented.
He noted that the project, which had seen over 400 metres of zinc fence removed in Denham Town, resumed with a further 75 metres of zinc fence being removed along Reggae Villa.
“The project is progressing and has, to date, employed 30 persons and is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month. At the completion, we would do 140 metres in terms of replacing zinc fencing with concrete fencing or other aesthetically appealing and secure material,” the Prime Minister said. He also cited the Infrastructure Improvement Project, which will provide water, sewerage and road improvement works throughout Denham Town.
Mr. Holness said the project, which is scheduled to come on stream by June 2018, will significantly improve the quality of infrastructure in the community.
“There is an incentive programme for the proper management of solid waste. The programme is still in its development phase, but remains on scheduled to be rolled out this year and will heavily engage the community-based organisations. It will see to the creation of environmental wardens, and these wardens will be working closely with the National Solid Waste Management Authority,” he noted.
In the area of human and community development and employment, the Prime Minister said a school-wide behaviour modification programme is to be implemented at the St. Anne’s, St. Alban’s and Denham Town Primary and Denham Town High Schools. He pointed out that this intervention will be implemented within the first quarter of the 2018/19 financial year, and will address issues of truancy and behaviour modification among youth and adolescents.
The programme is to be implemented in collaboration with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF); Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; and the Safe Schools Programme of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
In terms of skills training, a programme to support this area has been approved and is currently in the procurement stage for service providers to provide new training areas and modalities. This programme will provide opportunities for youth in Denham Town to acquire new skills.
The Prime Minister also informed that additional support is being provided by the HOPE Programme though the HEART Trust/NTA. Approximately 50 young persons are projected to benefit from the new interventions. In addition, a programme geared towards entrepreneurship was launched on March 19, 2018, and will allow strong community-based enterprises in Denham Town to access grants ranging from $1.5 million to $25 million to start new enterprises, or for existing entrepreneurs to retool and expand.
The ZOSOs in Mount Salem, St. James; and Denham Town have been extended by a further 60 days.
The House of Representatives on April 11, approved two Resolutions for the extensions, which were moved by Prime Minister Holness.
The Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act gives the Prime Minister power to declare an area a ZOSO in order to tackle increased crime and volatility. This is in consultation with the National Security Council.
The Zone can only be established after the Police Commissioner and the Chief of Defence Staff make a request for such a declaration in writing to the Prime Minister.