Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Tivoli Report: Fix the problems in low-income communities

Published:Monday | July 11, 2016 | 7:00 AM
A girl walks next to a concertina wire at a military checkpoint in Tivoli Gardens, west Kingston, in 2010.

The Sir David Simmons-led West Kingston Commission of Enquiry has urged the Government to aggressively attack the many economic, physical, and social challenges in low-income communities.

The recommendation was contained in the report of the three-member commission that investigated the conduct of the May 2010 police-military operations in west Kingston.

Below is the full text of the commission's report on the recommendations of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Sustainable development is urgently required in addressing the problems in the low-income urban areas. There is a pressing need to attend to the social requirements of the residents, who have limited access to employment, income, housing, health and education.

The physical, economic and social challenges in these communities should be attacked aggressively. Programmes directed towards positive changes in the lives of members of each community should be spearheaded by the Government.

At the request of the Govern-ment, ECLAC carried out a study on the impact of the events of May 2010 in Jamaica. Its report made a number of specific recommendations, which we do not set forth herein since they are readily available to GOJ. We are content to endorse those specific recommendations for urgent action by GOJ.

REVITALISE COMMUNITIES

At a macro level, we also endorse the main conclusion of the report that a medium- to long-term programme of rehabilitation and revitalisation of the affected communities should be developed in order to integrate those communities into Jamaican society. Such a programme must have, at its centre, the creation of mechanisms to train, educate, and assist the people in generating wealth from productive activities.

As part of a programme for inner-city renewal and development, we recommend that the Government should vigorously pursue the private sector's assistance by inviting them to embrace the Urban Renewal (Tax Relief) Act. Under Section 3 (1) of the Act, the minister is empowered to declare an area "a special development area".