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McKenzie apologises to St James residents for smoke nuisance

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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ROSE HALL, St James — Desmond McKenzie has apologised to St James residents who, for the past few days, have had to endure the smoke nuisance from the Retirement landfill.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the inaugural Local Governance Conference Jamaica 2018 at Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort and Spa in Rose Hall, here, the local government and community development minister, who lauded the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and Jamaica Fire Brigade for their effort in bringing the fire under control, apologised to residents.

“I have to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Government, to express to the residents of Montego Bay, to say how sorry we are for what has taken place. The Government, through the National Solid Waste Management Authority, has taken the necessary steps... to bring the fire under control,” McKenzie said.

The fire at the dump, which started on Saturday, is believed to have been started by arsonists. Although extinguished, there are reports of smoke still affecting several communities.

McKenzie noted that securing landfills across the country is one of the challenges local government faces.

He added that the conference will be used to examine weaknesses in local governance as well as explore ways to make local government more accountable.

The three-day conference, which will come to an end on Thursday, is being held under the theme “Strengthening Responsiveness and Accountability Within the Local Governance Framework”.

The conference, which is expected to be held every two years, is geared towards improving the readiness of the political and administrative leadership in the local authorities to execute their roles and functions within the context of enhancing the local and national processes of economic growth and development.

— Anthony Lewis

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