Tuesday 1 December, 2020

Plans outlined for National Dengue Clean-up drive

Minister of Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has outlined plans for the National Dengue Clean-up drive, to be undertaken islandwide from January 24 to 26.

Minister Grange, addressing a post-Cabinet press briefing on January 15 at Jamaica House said that in keeping with the thrust of joined-up government, the National Labour Day Secretariat had been activated at the request of the Minister of Health and Wellness to facilitate a strategic execution of the exercise.

The Minister pointed out that the dengue clean-up will be carried out in a similar manner as Labour Day activities, and as such, the Secretariat’s machinery is being engaged.

She added that the Ministry has been working closely with the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, and other agencies and volunteers, to organise the national activities.

“The clean-up will take place from January 24 to 26, and during this time, we will search for and destroy mosquitoes and breeding sites in homes, communities, schools, workplaces and churches.  It is critical that all of us get involved in efforts to find and destroy the mosquitoes that transmit dengue,” she said.

Miss Grange informed that the Ministry of Health and Wellness has identified 158 communities across the country that are in need of urgent action to destroy mosquitoes and their breeding sites, and that national agencies, local authorities, members of parliament, councillors and volunteers have been engaged to conduct clean-up operations in those communities.

She further noted that of the communities identified, 36 are considered to be critical for immediate intervention and that two have been chosen as national projects.

“Grants Pen and Rae Town have been selected as national projects, to be led by the Prime Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition will be invited to join him in this effort,” she said.

The work teams are expected to remove bulky waste, cut down overgrown vegetation and fill out depressed areas where mosquitoes are likely to breed.

Miss Grange highlighted that a critical part of the intervention will be the interaction with residents,“where we will be encouraging and showing them how to cover drums and other waste-holding containers and emptying or destroying containers as necessary”.

The staging of the national projects will be led by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and the National Works Agency (NWA).

The Minister said the clean-up activities begin on January 24 with the removal of mosquito breeding sites at schools, churches and business places, and that the NSWMA will commence the removal of bulky waste in Grants Pen and Rae Town.

On January 25,  three gully cleaning teams will commence clearing of major gullies at Barbican, Grants Pen and Acadia and NSWMA will continue the removal of bulky waste using 10 teams.

Beach clean-up and gully cleaning exercises will take place in Rae Town, and both national sites are to be visited by the Prime Minister on day 2.

On January 26, the clean-up effort will continue with the removal of bulky waste.

The Minister pointed out that persons from both communities, as well as communities across Jamaica, are being encouraged to join in the effort by searching for and destroying mosquito breeding sites in their own homes and communities.

She also appealed for volunteers to join the clean-up effort.

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