More resources needed for My MoBay – Henry
Gloria Henry, president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), says there is a need for more garbage trucks and litter wardens to help drive the chamber's 'My MoBay' initiative to clean up the western city.
"The police have indicated where some resources are missing, and the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has indicated that they have a shortage of equipment," said Henry, during a recent Gleaner Editors' Forum ahead of the chamber's Montego Bay Expo 2015 slated for next month.
"The St James Parish Council has also indicated they have a shortage of manpower in terms of municipal police," said Henry.
She continued: "We need more garbage trucks right now; we have a shortage, and we need four more, according to NSWMA. The St James Parish Council needs more wardens and municipal police, and so that is something we are pushing and which has to be done. We raised it with the minister of local government (Noel Arscott) ... but the parish council has to push for the resources that they need, because at the end of the day, they are the ones who have the responsibility to keep the city clean and to maintain the city."
The MBCCI's 'My MoBay' campaign, which was launched in July this year, is geared towards improving the physical aesthetics of Montego Bay by educating the populace on matters of civic pride, including refraining from urinating in public spaces and wanton disposal of garbage.
Henry further stressed that enforcement of anti-litter laws and recruitment of all local stakeholders, are crucial to the success of the clean-up initiative.
"We agree that the town is dirty ... , which is why we have launched this initiative, 'My MoBay', to bring all the stakeholders together to clean up Montego Bay, and we have started out with working with the stakeholders to look at the resource requirements," said Henry. "There is a shortage of money, the fiscal constraints are there, but we are also reaching out to the businesses, to come together and give back in a socially responsible way to help clean up (the city)."
Henry continued: "You have to have a zero-tolerance approach in enforcing anti-litter laws. If we start locking up people, then we have to start making them understand that we are dead serious; there are countries that are doing it, and doing it very well. I went to Dubai, and the minute I walked out of the hotel, somebody told me not to drop anything, because if you drop a bottle you are going to pay $500 ... , and the streets are clean and impeccable."
Other groups which have come on board to participate in the 'My MoBay' campaign include the Social Development Commission, the Peace Management Initiative and the Ministers' Fraternal.