Thu | Aug 18, 2022

ZOSO making a difference in Greenwich Town

Published:Saturday | March 5, 2022 | 12:10 AMJudana Murphy/Staff Reporter
Dr Horace Chang, (left) minister of national security and Angela Brown Burke, MP for St. Andrew South Western chat with Jerdane Dixon, student of Greenwich Town Primary School during a tour yesterday of Greenwich Town where a zone of special operations (ZO
Dr Horace Chang, (left) minister of national security and Angela Brown Burke, MP for St. Andrew South Western chat with Jerdane Dixon, student of Greenwich Town Primary School during a tour yesterday of Greenwich Town where a zone of special operations (ZOSO) was established.

Residents of Greenwich Town have lauded the Government for the physical infrastructure upgrades the community has benefited from, through the build phase of the zone of special operations (ZOSO).

A ZOSO was imposed in July 2020, as the south west St Andrew community was plagued by increased gang activity.

For the first six months of the year, there were seven murders, including two double murders and eight shootings.

It has been 247 days since the last murder within the zone and 206 days since the last shooting.

Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) senior manager for social development, Mona Sue-Ho, said $35.9 million was spent on phase two of the integrated infrastructure package (IIP) works during the 2021-2022 implementing period.

This included improvements to roads, drainages, sidewalks, water mains and removal of zinc fences.

JSIF also implemented a solid waste management project valued at $4.1 million, where 26 environmental wardens were trained and employed. One skip was also constructed and placed in the community.

Sue-Ho said 59 residents, including 15 fisherfolk, benefited from $13.1 million in enterprise grants during the period 2021 to 2022.

“Significant work has been done on the physical side. We need to improve the work on the social side but have made some inroads in our schools with the birth certificate programme and other projects,” she said.

Fifty-one-year-old Marcia Valentine told The Gleaner that she was fairly pleased with the improvements that have been made.

“The only thing we want is a likkle light on the street. Some streets have light and some don’t have any but the sidewalks are OK, the people come and sweep up the roads in the morning, so it is very clean and the zinc fence dem gone, so di place look nice,” Valentine said.

Glendon McDonald, a shop owner, echoed similar sentiments.

“Every morning mi wake up, I see the workers sweeping. We have a nice sidewalk can walk pan and we can walk in peace around the community. Everything is just nice since the ZOSO,” he said.

Meanwhile, 45-year-old Marcia Green said the community has a “residential look” since the majority of zinc fences have been removed.

“I like the look. Some of the sidewalks could have been fixed better but we are grateful,” Green said.