164 trained as envirornmental wardens
One hundred and sixty-four persons have completed training as environmental wardens through the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP).
The wardens were presented with certificates at a graduation ceremony on September 30 at the Trench Town Multi-purpose Centre in Kingston.
Minister of Local Government and Community Development Noel Arscott, who addressed the ceremony, said the skills and attitudes that the graduates gained from the training should make them effective environmental wardens.
"Through your efforts, the objectives of the NSWMA (National Solid Waste Management Authority) Act and regulations will be met on the ground and at the community level," he said.
Meanwhile, board chairman of JSIF, Colin Bullock, charged graduates to put their training into practice. "How you deal with waste in your own communities will help us chart the way forward in this very critical area of national life," he told the graduates.
"It is up to you to make this pilot project work. You are now gazetted officers empowered by law in the enforcement of the NSWMA Act and regulations," he added.
The training, which took place over a three-day period, saw persons from 21 communities in Kingston, St Andrew, Clarendon, and St Catherine being trained in sustainable solid-waste management practices; solid-waste management regulation; national environmental regulation and sustainable development; public health; and fire safety and emergency management.
The ICDP aims to strengthen community involvement in environmental issues affecting the country, and the main objectives are to improve environmental health and heighten awareness in selected communities through capacity building in solid-waste management.
Projected to last three years, the environmental wardens programme is estimated to cost $100 million, funded by the World Bank.
The programme is implemented through the public education and enforcement department of the NSWMA, working with the JSIF; the Ministry of Health; the National Environment and Planning Agency; the Jamaica Fire Brigade; and the Dispute Resolution Foundation.
Also attending the ceremony were Minister of Transport, Works and Housing and Member of Parliament for Southern St Andrew, Dr Omar Davies; Member of Parliament for Central St Catherine Olivia 'Babsy' Grange; Member of Parliament for Western Kingston Desmond McKenzie; and World Bank Country Representative Galina Sotirova.