SHARING THE LOVE: Each one Help one
Five-minute feature on acts of kindness by local or overseas based non-government individuals and organisations that have benefitted Jamaicans.
Written and produced by the Radio Department of the Jamaica Information Service
News for Week of January 29, 2023
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.
UN plan for Jamaica targets poverty reduction
Multidimensional poverty reduction is the goal of a new five-year programme developed for Jamaica by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Priority areas for the 2022 to 2026 cycle include social resilience and inclusion, citizen safety and security and the rule of law, climate change resilience, and sustainable natural resource management.
The programme’s provisions will also be executed in The Bahamas, Bermuda, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Cayman Islands.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith said that her Ministry and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) collaborated on the programme’s development.
“We, therefore, welcome the commitment that the UNDP has shown to consultation with policymakers, development practitioners, and stakeholders at varying levels, to ensure closer alignment between the desired outcomes of the UNDP and the priorities articulated in our National Development Plan,” she said.
Senator Johnson Smith said the programme “takes stock” of Jamaica’s social protection system, gender equality gap, crime and violence, and the poverty rate between rural and urban areas.
Agri ‘in a different way’ at Mulberry Valley, St Mary
To fully realize its vast agro-ecotourism potential, the Mulberry Valley Estate in Friendship Gap, St. Mary, has received a pledge of support from Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Pearnel Charles Jr.
The 20-acre property is owned by entrepreneurs, Jeffrey “Agent Sasco” Campbell, and wife Nicole.
The Minister joined the couple on a recent tour of the estate where he, and other Ministry principals, as well as private-sector interests, viewed the diverse natural gems, exotic fruit trees, sustainable features, and opportunities for both agriculture and tourism contained on the property.
“I am more than convinced that Jamaica needs this magical Mulberry Valley Estate,” said Charles, Jr. “Agriculture is a multidimensional, evolving, interconnected marketplace, and your vision is a reflection of our drive to really expose to the world all that Jamaica has to offer.”
He added, “I want to ensure you of our commitment to work with you [and] to work with the Ministry of Tourism to really make this a success and a reflection of sustainable agriculture and tourism. I want the world to know that here [at Mulberry] is where excellence lies.”
Mr. Campbell explained that his vision for the estate is to create a space where “people come to experience nature and agriculture in a different way”.
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Housing project for needy going well, says minister
To date, 59 housing units have been completed under the Indigent Housing Programme, with work in progress on an additional 19.
The programme, which is delivered under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development’s Municipal Social Assistance programme, is designed to address the housing crisis among the poor and most vulnerable.
Addressing a recent official handover ceremony for a one-bedroom unit in Heywood Hall, St. Mary, Portfolio Minister Desmond McKenzie said that the initiative is reflective of the Government’s policy to elevate the standard of housing for the poor and to maintain the dignity of this population.
“Since we started this programme, we have completed the projects on time and within the budget that has been allocated for each house since 2017, and that is an outstanding achievement,” he said. He added that the necessary checks and balances have been implemented and strictly adhered to, to ensure transparency and oversight.
In 2022 alone, the Ministry completed 25 units benefiting primarily elderly single persons and families.
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Institutions ready for high-school entry exams
Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams has said that primary schools are prepared to facilitate the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations, which begin February 16.
She noted that this year will be the first post-COVID sitting of the exam, following various interventions put in place to navigate the challenges and learning loss caused by the pandemic over the last three years.
“We did a number of things, and I know each school would have had their separate programmes,” she noted. “We are hoping that the results will be better because of the interventions that we put in the space.”
Grade-six students will sit the Ability Test on February 16, Performance Tasks in Language Arts on March 22 and Mathematics on March 23, and the Curriculum-based Test in Language Arts and Science on April 26 and Mathematics and Social Studies on April 27.
Meanwhile, Minister Williams said the Government is working to ensure that “there are more high schools across Jamaica that parents would consider [as top choices for their children]”.
“It’s something we’re committed to working on. We want to have more high schools that parents consider to be choice schools available to them [and closer to] where they live and work in Jamaica,” she said.
Trelawny roads getting much-needed attention
A major repair effort is now under way along sections of the Stettin to Highgate Hall main road in Southern Trelawny. Through this undertaking, several retaining walls are being built, while others are being repaired along the corridor, which is one of the key North/South Links.
The corridor serves several communities in the hills of Trelawny and links sections of Manchester, Clarendon, and St. Elizabeth to the north coast.
Community Relations Officer for the National Works Agency’s Western Region, Janel Ricketts, said that over time, several locations along the corridor were eroded as a result of successive flood events. Ms. Ricketts said the Agency is now working to effect the necessary repairs which involve the construction of retaining and parapet walls, the reinstatement of the roadways, and the installation of a culvert at one of the six targeted locations.
The programme of works is being undertaken at a cost of $24.8 million, under the Maintenance of Secondary Roads Programme.
The energy transition confronts reality
By Daniel Yergin
WASHINGTON, DC – The “energy transition” from hydrocarbons to renewables and electrification is at the forefront of policy debates nowadays. But the last 18 months have shown this undertaking to be more challenging and complex than one would think just from studying the graphs that appear in many scenarios.
Even in the United States and Europe, which have adopted massive initiatives (such as the Inflation Reduction Act and RePowerEU) to move things along, the development, deployment, and scaling up of the new technologies on which the transition ultimately depends will be determined only over time.