Mr. Vaz said despite several achievements with respect to the Programme’s implementation, a number of areas remain to be addressed. This was disclosed by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, in a speech read by Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Lt. Col. Oral Khan, during the opening ceremony for a five-day ambient air quality workshop at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, on Monday (April 23). Story Highlights The Government will be spending $9 million this year to strengthen the National Air Quality Management Programme. The Government will be spending $9 million this year to strengthen the National Air Quality Management Programme.The money will be used to, among other things, expand Jamaica’s monitoring regime and build technical capacity to further bolster and enhance procedures, protocols and standards.This was disclosed by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, in a speech read by Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Lt. Col. Oral Khan, during the opening ceremony for a five-day ambient air quality workshop at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, on Monday (April 23).Mr. Vaz said despite several achievements with respect to the Programme’s implementation, a number of areas remain to be addressed.These, he pointed out, include: expanding the monitoring network to incorporate regions outside the Kingston Metropolitan Area, Montego Bay, May Pen, Spanish Town and Mandeville; expanding the number of pollutants being monitored to include gaseous substances (currently only particulate matter is monitored); and developing the capacity to conduct elemental speciation.Other areas, the Minister said, include: publishing an Air Quality Index which provides daily information to the public on air quality in their respective areas as also precautionary measures for personal protection; implementing strategies to reduce pollutants being emitted by various sources, including a licensing and monitoring regime; and establishing air-sheds to limit emissions in specific areas.The National Environment and Planning Agency is the Programme’s coordinator and primary implementer.Meanwhile, Mr. Vaz advised that the Ministry has developed a draft Emissions Policy Framework for Jamaica.The Policy, which was developed last year, provides directives for the regulation of emissions from major sectors, including electricity, transportation and industry.“It is anticipated that the draft Policy Framework will be approved by Cabinet as a Green Paper and be opened up for public consultations early this financial year,” the Minister said.The ambient air quality workshop aims to deliver a short and intensive training exercise on the basic concepts of environmental epidemiology, with focus on assessing the impact of air pollution on health using the AirQ+ tool developed by the World Health Organization.
Story Highlights Motorists and pedestrians in Montego Bay, St. James, say the presence of members of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB) has brought greater security and public order to the streets of the Second City. Motorists and pedestrians in Montego Bay, St. James, say the presence of members of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB) has brought greater security and public order to the streets of the Second City.In a vox pop conducted by JIS News on October 3, members of the public welcomed the PSTEB police officers, noting that they have made a significant difference in the flow of traffic, especially at peak hours.However, some citizens argue that the policemen and policewomen, decked in their neon yellow vests, need to place greater focus along some roadways, including Megabyte Drive in the vicinity of Vista Print; Sam Sharpe Square and along Orange Street.Following are the responses of persons who spoke with JIS News:(1) “This is what Montego Bay needed a long time. I see them cover almost everywhere already. I saw them on St. James Street; I saw them on Howard Cooke Boulevard; I saw them out at Gloucester Avenue and Barnett Street. I think they are doing a wonderful job.”JUTA Tour Operator, Sydney Bennett(2) “The initiative has been a really brilliant one. It has made a difference in terms of additional security, in terms of visibility and in terms of traffic control, which I believe we were desperately in need of. The whole initiative has been really impactful.”Motorist, Hillary Clarke (3) “I have seen them one time along Union Street. When I am coming from Paradise on Albion Road to come around Cornwall College and straight down to Orange Street, we would like to see more police around that side, even two of the new ones. I am telling you, if we see the uniformed personnel around there, then people will abide by the rules. As long as there is no police around there, there will be chaos.”Clive Blackwood, Taxi operator who plies the Paradise, Norwood to Montego Bay route(4) “The traffic in the peak hours is a little bit difficult, so when you have the police around it’s a little easier. Right at Vista Print, I was thinking about a stoplight there, but this morning (Wednesday, October 3), I saw one of the officers there and it was little easier,” he said.Taxi Operator, Derrick James, who plies the Irwin Meadows to Montego Bay route(5) “Mi feel good ‘bout dem. Since dem deh ‘round, the traffic get fi more clear, and because more time you used to stop in the traffic fi long time, when dem come ‘round, the traffic always clear up.”Pedestrian and vendor who gives his name as Roger (6) “It’s pretty good… because you can see the police officers from far. They are working well. I love it,” he said.Jermaine, Pedestrian