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144 Housing Units to be Constructed in Tivoli Gardens

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#Kingston, November 25, 2023 – A total of 144 housing units will be constructed in Tivoli Gardens, Western Kingston, at a cost of $2.8 billion, under the National Housing Trust (NHT) Community Renewal Project.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; Minister of Local Government and Community Development, and Member of Parliament for Kingston Western, Hon. Desmond McKenzie; Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams; Chairman of the NHT, Linval Freeman; Managing Director, NHT, Martin Miller and Director, M&M Jamaica Limited, Richard Mullings, today (November 24) broke ground for the Royal Estates Housing Development project.

The development will consist of 130 duplexes and 14 mixed-use units for residential and commercial use.

The  Royal Estates Housing Development is being built on 8.3 acres of land and is slated for completion in 2026. The selling price will be finalised on completion of the development. The units will include 32 studios, 38 one-bedroom, 60 two-bedroom (two storey) and 14 mixed-use (three storey). The land earmarked for the development borders west on the Tivoli Gully, north by Tivoli Gardens, south and east by the Jamaica Railway Corporation property.

Addressing the ceremony, the Prime Minister said the development is a testimony to the Government’s unwavering commitment to building not just houses but communities.

“This development represents hope and opportunity and embodies the ideals of the community-renewal programme, an initiative deeply rooted in the tenets of Vision 2030 and is an outgrowth of the NHT’s inner-city housing project,” he added.

He said since inception, the NHT has contributed more than 10,000 housing solutions in Kingston and St. Andrew through the Joint Venture Interim Finance Project, the Inner-City Housing Project and the NHT Scheme Programmes.  He informed that the Trust’s current housing plan for Kingston and St. Andrew includes 1,386 housing units to be constructed over the next two years.

These include 230 units (Foreshore Estate), which is under construction and should be completed in 2024; 210 units under the Maxfield Park Development Project, for completion in 2025; 131 units at White Wing, for completion in 2025; 248 units at Howard Apartments, for completion in 2025; 18 units at the completed Bellrock Project; 36 units at St. Paul’s Lane; 70 units at the Surbiton Project, for completion in 2026; 62 units at Bay Farm Road, to be completed in 2026; Phase Two of the Ruthven Towers, which will consist of 235 units for completion in 2026; and 14 units in Vineyard Town, for completion in 2025.

Mr. Holness said the Government remains committed to providing housing solutions that will meet the needs of Jamaicans and informed that the focus is not only on Kingston and St. Andrew.

He  pointed out that the Trust has committed to building 43,000 housing solutions islandwide. “Every day we are working towards that commitment,” he added.

The Prime Minister further informed that the Bernard Lodge Development in St. Catherine has commenced.

“Several of the developers are building out now and I am going to tour that area very soon to see the progress that is being made. In that development alone we will have over 10,000 housing solutions,” he said.

He explained that the buildout of a proper transportation system and road networks will complement the buildout of more units outside of Kingston.

“What we have done in terms of improving the road network heading east into St. Thomas is a signal that housing developments should follow that new corridor, so there are options other than seeking to build in Kingston, that you can live on the outskirts of Kingston and travel into Kingston at a low cost and conveniently; that’s what we are building out,” Mr. Holness said.

He noted that development of the Royal Estates project has been in the pipeline from as far back as 2007 and lamented about the pace of development and the associated bureaucratic processes to execute the project.

“When I toured in 2019, I made a commitment that it would be done but regardless of how firm and strong my commitments were, when it becomes the domain of execution, when it becomes the domain of public bureaucracy, sometimes there is a disconnect between the urgency of getting the projects done and the imperative of complying with the rules,” the Prime Minister said.

“The two things have to be done; you can’t sacrifice either; you have to comply with the rules and you want to do it as quickly as possible, so that the people who are living in the substandard condition can get the benefit quickly. Sometimes as bureaucrats and administrators, we do our job without seeing the beneficiary on the other side of our effort,” he said.

The Prime Minister urged that contractor, M&M Jamaica Limited, to complete the project within or before the timeline and within the budget. “Move as fast as you can… don’t delay what you can accomplish today,” he urged.

Meanwhile, Mr. McKenzie said the proposed development is a “dream we all welcome”.

Community member, Shikara Dockery said the community is grateful for the development. “To finally see the project happening, it feels good,” she told JIS News.

For his part, Mr. Freeman said the project will be developed with greenspaces and recreational areas and will improve the quality of life for residents and their families.

 

Contact: Chris Patterson

Release: JIS

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Trinidad Makes Big Energy Commitment

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#TrinidadandTobago#Energy, February 20th, 2024 – To diversify its energy mix as well as its economy, Trinidad and Tobago is putting focus on energy transition for development, working on a solar project which will potentially change energy production for the nation.

This was announced by Prime Minister Keith Rowley at the opening of the Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo 2024 in Guyana on February 19th.

Expressing that energy is the center of economic development, Rowley highlights why this development is significant. He says in order to transform the energy system to cater to the growing demand for energy while decreasing global emissions, a broad mix of energy is needed.

He further mentions that this is what’s required of producer economies like Trinidad and Tobago for development.

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Irish Humanitarian Organization in Haiti – Address Hunger Crisis and More

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti#Crisis#ConcernWorldwide, February 2oth, 2024 – Seeing that Haiti’s humanitarian crisis worsens day by day with too many Haitians, hundreds of thousands, edging the line to severe deprivation of food, Ireland’s largest aid and humanitarian agency Concern Worldwide is addressing major food insecurity. 

 The organization in a release said “ “We are providing food assistance, via electronic vouchers to help families purchase food from local vendors so that they can feed their families and prevent malnutrition in children as the situation worsens.”

They are also working to provide Haitians with clean water and sanitation as the waterborne disease Cholera continues to threaten lives, killing more than 1,150 people in 2023.

And, they provide referrals for cases of sexual and gender based violence in Port au Prince.

Concern is supported by funding from USAID, receiving €2.1 million (euros) to help over 30 thousand people in the hunger crisis as well as €1 million (euros) yearly from the Irish Government for its work in Haiti.

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Why the Haitian President’s Wife – Martine Moïse – was charged with his 2021 Assassination

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Haiti, February 21, 2024 – Martine Moïse, the widow of Haiti’s assassinated President Jovenel Moïse, is being charged for involvement in his July 2021 murder, according to recent reports on Monday February 19th, 2024.

She is charged for complicity and involvement in criminal associations.

In his report, Haitian Judge Walther Wesser Voltaire reveals there were questionable actions related to Martine Moïse as well as statements that simply didn’t add up.

For instance, Voltaire states that she mentions hiding under the marital bed for safety during the attack on her husband, but authorities expressed that this claim is illogical, saying that a giant rat measuring “between 35 and 45 centimeters,” could not fit under the bed.

This is due to the fact that the gap between the bed and the floor was 14 to 18 inches, according to the indictment.

Considering these revelations, Voltaire states that her claims were “so tainted with contradictions that they leave something to be desired and discredit her.”

There are other suspicious actions by Mrs. Moïse, reported by the Judge, as revealed by Lyonel Valbrun, former Secretary General of the National Palace.

Voltiare’s report says Valbrun claimed there was pressure from the late President’s wife to make available to Claude Joseph, former Prime Minister, office space for the organization of a Council of Ministers.  Additionally, Valbrun reported that Martine Moïse dedicated hours to remove objects from the Palace during the days leading up to her husband’s murder.

Joseph, like the former first lady is also being charged for complicity and involvement in criminal associations.  Also, they were both injured during the attack on Jovenel Moïse.

The accusations against Mrs. Moïse, reports say, are also based on information from Joseph Badio, former official in Haiti’s Justice Ministry, who is accused of being involved in planning the Haitian president’s 2021 assassination.

According to the indictment, linked in  Voltaire’s 122 page report highlights Badio “outing” Mrs. Moïse for plotting with others, Joseph included, to kill her husband to gain power.

Joining Joseph and Moïse with charges is Léon Charles, ex-chief of Haiti’s National Police, carrying the worst of the charges including, murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of weapons, conspiracy against the state’s internal security, and involvement in criminal associations.

Haitian-American pastor Christian Emmanuel Sanon, former DEA informant Joseph Vincent, presidential security chief Dimitri Hérard, former senator John Joël Joseph, and judge Windelle Coq, are also among the accused, some already sentenced and some handed over to the US to face Federal charges.

Media reports have exposed that after a two and a half year investigation, there are still unanswered questions.  And, despite going into details about the assassination, it fails to reveal the motive behind it and how it was financed.

A separate case on Moise’s killing is being tried in Miami.

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