Enlighten my darkness - New desk established for street light complaints
Communities facing prolonged bouts of darkness due to either the absence of or non-functional street lights now have a new avenue to vent their frustrations: the recently established public communication system in the Ministry of Local Government.
Speaking during last weekend's launch of the Government's national clean-up campaign in Montego Bay, the minister, Desmond McKenzie, told the media that he had set up a desk in his office that would be responsible for taking complaints from members of the public on street lights.
"I can't tell you that in six months the problems with street lights will be solved," said McKenzie, in noting the importance of street lights. "If the streets are dark, then it restricts the things people want to do and it also contributes to crime and violence."
McKenzie also said that he had started discussions with the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPSCo) on the matter.
The need for improved repair service for street lights was among the topics discussed, said McKenzie, who further revealed that JPSCo would be providing details on the number of street lights the company has repaired in recent times.
Based on the Government's plans for street lights, McKenzie is encouraging the public to be more responsible in ensuring that they are not vandalised.
"There are some communities where it is better for them (to be) in the dark. So we know that once the lights are repaired, the vampires will destroy them because they work better in the dark," he said.
McKenzie also noted that the country could not afford the high cost being paid for street lighting and was contemplating switching to energy-efficient bulbs as a means of cutting cost.
The $4 billion electricity bill that the Government currently owes JPSCo was also highlighted at the recent meeting with the company, McKenzie said.
"This week, we will be making attempts to pay a significant portion of that amount," he said. "So I am going to be appealing to all Jamaicans just to be patient, just to understand the challenges that both the Government and the JPSCo face."