Responding to questions in the second instalment of the weekly feature Ask your Prime Minister during the week of Monday August 24, 2015, Mrs. Simpson Miller said that “the security of Jamaica and our people continues to be an area that has the full attention of my government.”
The editorial feature is published in the STAR newspaper via the Office of the Prime Minister’s online platforms including its website, Facebook Pages and Twitter.
Responding to a question about crime in Westmoreland, she added that the Police are “committing additional resources and time to come up with new strategies to reduce the number of murders in Westmoreland and other western parishes.” Some of the strategies already implemented include increased police presence and intelligence-driven crime prevention partnership with all stakeholders.
The Prime Minister pointed out that while the steps taken by the Police and the Government are crucial to crime reduction “the most effective strategy must involve people telling the Police what they know about criminal activities.’
The Prime Minister also addressed concerns about the state of the road network in southern Jamaica, noting that the Government is “committed to maintaining a proper road network across the country to improve the lives of citizens and to create the physical infrastructure needed for economic growth”.
She informed that the Ministry of Transport Works and Housing recently did a feasibility study and preliminary design to improve the main road from Harbour View to Port Antonio and from Negril to Mandeville. The extension of the existing Highway 2000 is also under consideration.
In addition, the Government is proceeding with plans for a highway on the South Coast to link with the Portmore, Spanish Town and Old Harbour segment of the Highway 2000.
In an effort to embark on these well needed developments, Mrs. Simpson Miller says that the Government is at this time having discussions with international funding agencies about financing a major new road project which is expected to begin in 2016/2017 financial year starting with the 42 km segment between Harbour View and Morant Bay.
In addition to these proposed developments, the National Works Agency (NWA) is doing major rehabilitation work along the main road in Westmoreland from Negril to Sheffield, Ferris Cross to Belmont and from Belmont to Scotts Cove as well as carrying out routine maintenance on the south coast main road as resources allow.
For the second week, Mrs. Simpson Miller also addressed concerns about the prolonged water shortage and encouraged affected persons to use the email contacts and texts as much as possible to make reports of no water, leaks and make requests for trucked water.