Clock ticking for Denbigh Show plans
The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) is in a race against time to clean up the Denbigh Show Ground in Clarendon and get it up to the exacting international public health standards stipulated by the Clarendon Health Department.
Meeting those standards are key to getting the necessary approvals for the August 5-7 staging of the 65th Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show.
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton had called an emergency meeting last Saturday in New Kingston after a warning from the Clarendon Health Department that the unsanitary conditions that had prevailed at Denbigh over the years would not be allowed for the 2017 staging. The department cited a number of glaring public health breaches that would have to be corrected before the show could be allowed to go on.
At Saturday's meeting, the public health experts laid down a number of conditions and measures which the show organisers agreed to, including outsourcing of the liquid and solid waste management responsibilities to a qualified and competent private company.
Tufton directed the health department to provide him with a weekly progress report on the checklist of activities which must be completed and signed off on at least one week before the show date.
"We are working with the public health authorities for their guidance in resolving all the concerns raised and we are confident that we will earn their endorsement this year as we have in previous years," JAS President Norman Grant said in a press release yesterday.
If they fail to meet the timeline, the show will be cancelled, chief Medical Officer Dr Winston De La Haye reiterated yesterday.
"It's off," De La Haye said, until and unless the health stipulations are met.
Tufton has agreed with the stance, noting that all the parties agreed on the issues to be addressed and the programme of activities to achieve the necessary approval.
"The commitment was made that all parties will work together over the next five weeks to resolve these issues," said Grant, who also chairs the Denbigh Show Committee.