JSIF, World Bank target 18 inner-city areas with development project
In six years' time, Jamaica should expect to see at least 18 inner-city communities completely transformed because of the World Bank-funded Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP).
According to Omar Sweeney, managing director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), which is implementing the ICDP, it is now past the starting block and in six years, quality of life changes, created by the programme, should be in "full evidence" for community members and other observers alike.
"Jamaicans will expect to see 18 communities which are significantly changed because of this initiative," said Sweeney at the launch in Ellersie Pen, St Catherine.
JSIF, in continuing its work in the island's inner cities, launched the ICDP with funding of a US$42 million loan from the World Bank in the first quarter of 2014. The project runs from May 2014 to May 2020.
Other communities in which the ICDP has already been launched are York Town, Treadlight, and Curatoe Hill/Canaan Heights in Clarendon; Hannah Town, Denham Town and Tivoli Gardens in Kingston; Majesty Gardens, Wilton Gardens/Rema, Maxfield Park, Greenwich Town/ Newport West and Rose Town in St Andrew.
The ICDP has also been launched in Steer Town, St Ann; Retirement, Anchovy, Barrett Town and Granville in St James; and the community of Russia in Westmoreland.
Promotes public safety
The project principally seeks to promote public safety by a dual focus on basic infrastructure and social services.
A major leg is the improvement in access to basic infrastructure. This includes road rehabilitation, improving storm water drainage, and installing water supply and sanitation household connections.
A critical element is the promotion of behaviour change related to water supply, sanitation, electrical connection and solid-waste management.
Under public infrastructure improvement, the project will also pursue rehabilitation of educational facilities, the construction of community-integrated spaces, and a solid-waste management component to clean up and beautify the local environment as well as provide equipment, infrastructure and training of environmental wardens, which will assist in the process.
Also included is a Youth Livelihood Project, where resident youths will be provided with the means to learn and earn sustainably.
According to Sweeney, the holistic programme design is inclusive of youth engagement in leadership and civic projects and youth recreational programmes such as after-school programmes, sports and summer camps.