Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Lift Up Jamaica completes 480 projects

Jamaica Gleaner
Thursday, October 31, 2002

FOUR YEARS after the implementation of Lift Up Jamaica, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) the executing agency, is reporting that the programme has completed 480 projects with work continuing on another 135.

Lift Up Jamaica was launched in 1999, to restore the social and physical infrastructure of communities across Jamaica, and to provide employment for 40,000 persons.

The programme, which was scheduled to cost some $2.5 billion has so far expended $1.8 billion on completed and on-going projects. Approximately 25,234 persons have gained employment.

According to the UDC, Lift Up Jamaica also developed two special projects in 1999 and 2000, one of which provided employment for 30,000 persons at a cost of $200 million, and the other was a programme for the visually impaired, costing $460,000. To date, 20 (visually impaired) persons have been trained under this project.

In addition to rehabilitating and upgrading social and physical infrastructure within communities islandwide, Lift Up Jamaica has also replanted economic trees on 1011.7 hectares (2,500 acres) of land in depleted watershed regions. Areas receiving attention under the programme include sidewalks, gullies, basic schools, cemeteries, centres (sports, community, all purpose), sanitary convenience, parks, river training, drains and retaining walls.

At the launching of the project in 1999, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson said "the state of our communities, the condition of our social and physical infrastructure, and the condition of the environment in which we operate, have significant influence on how we feel about ourselves, and how we envision our future as individuals and as a nation." He pointed out that there was great need to foster pride in the environment, resulting in a cleaner, more orderly society.

Mr. Patterson added that although the creation of jobs for our young people was the principal consideration, the programme also addressed basic skills training so that all involved would acquire some degree of marketable skills for the future. Emphasis was placed on training and socialisation to facilitate an understanding of the value and importance of a strong work ethic.