THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN NEWS STORIES
MONTEGO BAY MITIGATION PROGRAM PREVENTS FLOOD DAMAGE
According to the mayor of Montego Bay, Homer Davis, the flood mitigation program that was put in place by the St. James Municipal Corporation after events of November 2017, contributed to the prevention of similar flood damage in a recent March 2018 occurrence. Davis, who also serves as chairperson of the Corporation, said that heavy rains in the hills above his city sent a deluge of water towards its center, overwhelming the drainage system. However, because of the flood mitigation program, which includes deployment of a crew to clean the drains specifically in the city’s streets, the waters receded quickly with little damage..
GOVERNMENT DEPLOYS ISLANDWIDE CAMERA SURVEILLANCE NETWORK
JamaicaEye is a camera surveillance network that has been implemented throughout the island of Jamaica. The system is designed to enhance citizens’ safety and represents part of a massive national mechanism to fight crime. The utilization of the system has been called both a “game changer” and an “historic undertaking” by Robert Montague, National Security Minister. In an address during the launch of JamaicaEye, Montague said the system will prove to be a valuable undertaking and investment that will bring “anti-social activity” in the country under control. The cameras of JamaicaEye monitor public places nationwide and help authorities respond to accidents, disasters, or criminal incidents. Cameras have already been installed in Kingston, St. Andrew, Montego Bay, St. James, Mandeville, Manchester, Ocho Rios, St Ann; May Pen, Clarendon; and Negril in Westmoreland.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS STORIES
AGREEMENT SIGNALS BREAKTHROUGH FOR ENVIRONMENT RIGHTS
A regional agreement addressing access to information, public participation, and access to justice in environmental matters is ready for ratification by countries in the Caribbean. The agreement, known as Principle 10, will be presented in September 2018 at the United Nations. The move follows the adoption of the agreement in Costa Rica earlier in March 2018, an initiative that has been welcomed by environmental stakeholders throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Twenty-four nations in the region have already adopted Principle 10 , an action that has been called “hugely significant” by Danielle Andrade Goffe, former legal director and current board member of the Jamaica Environmental Trust (JET).
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS STORIES
PROGRESS MADE TOWARD DEVELOPING SPECIAL DIASPORA BOND
The Economic Growth Council (EGC) is advancing toward the creation of a special diaspora bond that will target Jamaicans who live in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It is part of the Council’s efforts to help the Jamaican government lobby for increased diaspora support for the nation’s agenda for growth, said Senator Aubyn Hill, EGC executive director. The concept has resonated across the diaspora. Hill said that he expects to go to market in about four months, subject to updates from and confirmation by the Diaspora Working Group of the EGC.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS STORIES
HOLNESS WELCOMES SEPROD $3 BILLION GRAINS MILL
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness welcomed Seprod Group’s new $3 billion state-of-the-art grains mill. Jamaica Grain and Cereals Limited is expected to bring 300 new jobs to the island. According to Holness, the choice of Jamaica for such a high-value investment by one of the biggest food manufacturers in the Caribbean sends an important signal. The new venture puts Jamaica “on a good footing” for continued economic growth, he added.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN WEB SERIES TO DEBUT IN SIX MAJOR CITIES WORLDWIDE
“Dreaming Whilst Black,” a new Jamaican web series written and directed by filmmaker Adjani Salmon, is scheduled to premiere in six major cities around the world. The series will be available in Shanghai, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Miami, and Kingston on March 18, 2018. According to Andre Burnett, managing director of MUSE, an advertising agency that is marketing the series, there are plans to get the series on Netflix in the future. Larren Peart of Blue Dot Media and Kimala Bennet of The Limners and Bards Limited are also involved in promoting the event. Bennet said the promoters have been trying to get creativity “taken seriously” as a business, but hopes his effort will enhance the ability of Jamaican filmmakers to get attention when Caribbean content is in demand.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS STORIES
PRESIDENT OF AQUATIC CENTER, SPORTS MINISTER PLEASED WITH CENTER RENOVATION
The renovation of the National Aquatic Center at Independence Park met with the approval of Jamaica’s Sports Minister Oliva “Babsy” Grange and the president of the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) Martin Lyn. The renovation, which cost $27.5 million, completely revamped the diving pool, and included the addition of new touch pads and starting blocks, and a modern electronic control system. New water polo equipment was also added. Grange said she was “very pleased” with the results of the partnership between government and a sporting organization. The facility now meets world standards, and the upgraded infrastructure ensures that Jamaica’s swimmers can perform at their optimum levels in a world-class facility.