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Development project to tackle electricity theft

Published:Saturday | April 25, 2015 | 4:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin

One of the problems that is expected to be addressed through the Jamaica Social Investment Fund's (JSIF) Integrated Community Development Project is electricity theft.

The project will target the communities of Hanna Town, Denham Town and Tivoli Gardens in West Kingston. An additional 15 communities across the island will also be assisted through this project, which aims to promote public safety and transformation through the delivery of basic infrastructure.

Speaking at the launch which took place at the Tivoli Gardens Community Centre on Thursday, Julian Robinson, junior minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, noted that he welcomed the initiative as the issue of electricity theft continues to plague many inner-city communities.

"It cannot be about enforcing the law alone. During my own observation and work on the ground, I have come to realise that not all persons who steal light are comfortable with their actions; many of them want to change, but the truth is affordability is a big issue," he said.

"We are not condoning any action that is contrary to the law, but social intervention programmes, like these are needed and will be the catalyst for change. Through this programme we have started to train persons in electrical installation, which will see persons being equipped with the necessary skills so that they can also become employable," he said.

Looking for great results

Member of Parliament Desmond McKenzie noted that he was looking forward to great results as the work progresses over the next three to five years.

"All the communities that this programme will cater to in West Kingston embrace different political preferences, but one thing that all these communities have in common is that we see no colour when it comes to the development of our people," he said.

"Though we are often seen in a negative light, West Kingston is no ordinary constituency. This is where reggae music was born, this is where the Parliament sits, this is where the largest market (Coronation) in the Caribbean is located, and so we have a strong heritage that needs to be enhanced," McKenzie declared.