Hanover’s Chambers Pen to get multimillion-dollar facelift
Primary and basic schools to get extensive repairs under rural development programme
A MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR, multi-agency educational project is slated to take place in the Chambers Pen community in western Hanover. Under the project that is slated to begin in another four to six weeks, the Chambers Pen Primary and Infant School and the Chambers Pen Basic School are earmarked for extensive repairs and refurbishing.
The infrastructure and other works will be done under the Government’s Rural Development Project, with Chambers Pen selected as a pilot community.
In an interview with The Gleaner, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie outlined the scope of the work to be carried out within the community, noting that work should begin in short order.
“The tenders are out for the contracts for over $89 million for the repairs, building of new roadways and bridges. Rural Water has also put out a tender for some $45 million to put in a new water system in the community, with a part of that programme being that each household that is identified in the project will be supplied with a 1,000-gallon black water tank,” he stated.
McKenzie made the disclosure following an on-the-spot view of roads and school buildings while touring the area alongside member of parliament for Hanover Western, Tamika Davis, Mayor of Lucea Sheridan Samuels, the Social Development Commission’s (SDC) Hanover parish manager, Tova Trench Anderson, and several technical officers from the local government ministry last Thursday. McKenzie also discussed technical aspects of the project to be implemented and shared additional information on their plans.
“Rural electrification, through the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), they have come in and they have identified a number of households, and we are going to be rewiring over 150 houses in Chambers Pen, to get them onto the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) grid,” McKenzie said.
Houses to be built
He added that, following assessments by the Poor Relief Department of the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), four houses will be constructed in the community, while an agreement has been reached with the Ministry of Education for extensive repairs to be done to the schools.
McKenzie further noted that access to the Internet will be provided to the community by the Universal Service Fund, while the Rural Agricultural Development Authority will be playing its part to assist farmers, as the community is noted for its farming exploits.
“So, the tenders are out and we are expecting that, within another four to six weeks, the tenders will come in and we will commence the programme as committed by the Government. I am expecting that, by the middle of the year, we will see significant improvements to Chambers Pen,” he stated.
Davis was elated that Chambers Pen was chosen for the pilot project, saying that it will represent hope for the residents in the community.
“It will be like a new day for the residents in the community,” said Davis.
Samuels welcomed the project, describing the choice of Chambers Pen as an excellent one, arguing that the improvements will curb migration from the community.
“It will stop the rural-urban drift when all the facilities are made available,” said Samuels, adding that the HMC will be doing all in its power to provide support for the project.