We cut through the clutter to tell you some of the most important stories of the day.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative to Jamaica, Dr. Constant Lonkeng Ngouana. Donald De La Haye/JIS Photo
IMF Rep Praises J’ca
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative, Dr. Constant Lonkeng Ngouana, is lauding the Government for initiating measures to preserve and bolster the economic gains Jamaica has recorded over the last six years. These safeguards, which Dr. Lonkeng Ngouana contends are imperative in facilitating Jamaica’s exit from the IMF’s financial support in November, include the legislation before Parliament “A lot is happening. It’s a huge transformation that is happening and a lot of progress has been achieved… but Jamaica is not out of the woods yet. I put my trust on the Jamaican people to continue on the path that they started on. I believe sustaining the course will help Jamaica deliver a brighter future for its people,” he told JIS in an interview.
Police Meet Driver
Police met Tuesday afternoon (August 20) with the driver of a car seen in a video driving recklessly on a busy roadway in St Andrew. The car, a Mercedes Benz, was seen involved ion several dangerous manoeuvres, at an intersection on Dunrobin Avenue. In what was a rare move, the police issued a release stating they were to meet with the driver, at the scene of the infraction. The driver Dennis Diedre, issued an apology on the scene saying what he had done was “something really wrong”. He said he was sorry and it wouldn’t happen again. Police said he would help their education programme.
“The video went viral on social media last week, after the vehicle was recorded driving recklessly at the intersection of Dunrobin Avenue and Dukharan Avenue in St. Andrew. The driver has agreed to meet with the head of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB), Assistant Commissioner of Police, Bishop Dr. Gary Welsh at 3:30 p.m. today at the location where the infraction took place,” a police release said.
Newly installed President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), Owen Speid says the country should consider bringing back the Cat o’ nine for lashing reckless drivers who kill and injure people.
In his inaugural speech at the JTA’s 55th annual general conference in St James Monday night, Owen Speid said the country was moving away from corporal punishment in the schools but he said it might be needed for those who maim and kill with their vehicles. Speid said when they were found they should be dealt with harshly. “What about the cat o’ nine. We should look at bringing back that.” In his wide-ranging speech the JTA president also called on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to appoint a full Minister of Education. That call was also made earlier by Secretary General of the JTA Byron Farquharson. Since Ruel Reid was fired March, Karl Samuda has been acting in the post.
St Elizabeth farmers
JC Hutchinson, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Agriculture says everything must be done to get some 50 farmers from Flagaman back into production. Hutchinson said last week’s fire that destroyed some 100 acres hit at least 45 farmers hard. He said they lost everything, including crops, drums, irrigation hoses. He said he was going to use some of his community development funds to assist immediately.
Meantime, People’s National Party (PNP) Caretaker/Candidate for South West St Elizabeth Ewan Stephenson is calling for urgent help for farmers in the drought-ravaged ‘breadbasket’ parish. Stephenson said the severe drought affecting South St Elizabeth has now reached crisis levels as crops wither and die in the fields. The call came days after a fire in Flagaman in the south of the parish that destroyed some 100 acres of farmland and farm equipment. MP for the Constituency Floyd Green has sought help for the farmers and said an assessment was being done.
Water worries in NE
The National Water Commission (NWC) is reporting that twenty-nine (29) of its water supply systems in St. Ann, Portland, and St. Mary continue to be affected by the on-going drought.
The NWC said thirteen (13) systems in St. Ann recorded declining levels and are operating between nine and 50 percent, with both the Dawson Town and Content Pump Stations taken out of service due to the unavailability of inflows. While Portland and St. Mary recorded nine (9) and seven (7) systems respectively being affected, with the Derry Hazzard, Fellowship Hall, and Hunts Town facilities at 0%. The NWC release Tuesday afternoon, came a day after significant rainfall in sections of the three parishes, starting Sunday evening through to Tuesday.