JEEP on the move
Amid pronouncements from the Government, the project director of the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), Lucille Brodber, yesterday said she was not yet in a position to outline works which have commenced under the programme.
Jamaica House yesterday said patching, drain cleaning, bushing and river training have commenced in several communities. The works are said to be taking place in the St Catherine communities including Cow Pen, Windsor Road, Thompson Town Road, Alston, and Bog Walk.
Jamaica House also said retaining wall work was taking place on the Limit to Spaldings road in Clarendon.
"Today also, there was a walk-through of some of the other projects, work on which will commence tomorrow," Jamaica House said in a media release yesterday evening.
Brodber, when asked if the works identified by Jamaica House fall under JEEP, would only say "the programme started before I started".
She added: "I just came on board last week, so I am just trying to play catch-up. If you get a release from the Office of the Prime Minister, I would assume that what the release is saying is true."
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced during a political meeting in Clarendon last week that JEEP would have hit the road yesterday. But her announcement was met with a sharp retort from Karl Samuda, the opposition spokesperson for transport, works and infrastructure development.
Samuda demanded a full assessment as to where the programme really was at this point in time. He said the Jamaican people would be the ultimate losers if the programme was recklessly and prematurely rolled out.
While Jamaica House did not respond to Samuda's question, it stated yesterday that all 63 members of parliament have been invited to submit proposed projects to the tune of no more than $10 million each to the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing.
The JEEP has received fuel amounting to $4.2 billion to provide short-term employment for more than 5,000 Jamaicans.
In its media release yesterday, Jamaica House said: "Cabinet today noted the JEEP roll-out and agreed that each ministry will also identify a specific officer who will interface with the JEEP secretariat to aid in the smooth implementation of the programme and ensure the agreed standards for work are adhered to."
A formal launch ceremony for JEEP has been scheduled for Kingston on Thursday.