The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development will be launching a comprehensive public education drive within the next two weeks, to promote the proper disposal of waste by Jamaicans.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, in making the disclosure at the recent monthly meeting of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, said the campaign will incorporate the use of various platforms, including social media, to enlighten persons.
Mr. McKenzie said the continuous dumping of garbage into drains and gullies remains a very serious problem, resulting in flooding in some areas whenever it rains.
“The Ministry of Local Government along with ODPEM [Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management] and the NSWMA [National Solid Waste Management Authority] will be launching in two weeks’ time, a comprehensive drive to sensitise and get out a message of cleanliness and message of participation to help Government to help you to prevent unnecessary flooding,” he said.
The Minister informed that all sectors of society, including vendors and the business community, will be targeted during the drive.
“We are going to engage the private sector, the business community, because commercial garbage is being deposited in the public sphere and these persons are not taking responsibility to dispose of their garbage as they ought to,” Mr. McKenzie said.
The Minister argued that while Government continues to pump the necessary resources into cleaning drains and gullies, “if a section of the Jamaican society doesn’t buy in to self-preservation and discipline, then all our efforts will go in vain”.
Mr. McKenzie said the recent flooding in the Corporate Area during the passage of tropical storm Elsa north-east of the island on July 4 was due, in part, to improper garbage disposal.
“What was running on the streets was not just water, but tons of garbage – old fridges, mattresses, water tanks, stoves, you name it – and they didn’t come with Elsa,” the Minister said.
He implored Councillors as well as other elected representatives to play their part in fostering the message of promoting proper garbage disposal.