15 Nov The Collection of Garbage – Sole responsibility of NSWMA under Desmond McKenzie
The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is appalled by the Government’s blatant attempt to deceive Jamaicans into believing that the Parish Councils have been derelict in their duties as it relates to garbage collection island wide. The collection of garbage is the responsibility of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) for which the Minister of Local Government, currently the Hon. Desmond McKenzie, has sole responsibility.
It is important to note that the Parish Councils cannot instruct the NSWMA as it falls outside their jurisdiction. However, the Minister has that authority. The National Caucus of Councillors has reported that they have lobbied the Minister to ramp up collection efforts as uncollected garbage has a net negative effect on the health of our people. These efforts have fallen on deaf ears. It has left the Opposition Spokesman on Local Government, Noel Arscott to conclude that “the Government is using this vexing national issue as a tool to win the Local Government Elections, to the detriment of the people of Jamaica”. If this is indeed the case, the PNP calls on Minister McKenzie to desist from such a retrograde political tactic and use his immense powers and resources to improve garbage collection island wide. If the Minister truly cares about the people of Jamaica he will do so with alacrity and he will also go further to remove the misconceptions about who is responsible for garbage collections. The Parish Councils are willing to assume that role but until such time the blame must be laid squarely at the feet of the responsible institution, that is, the NSWMA and the Minister of Local Government. The PNP urges Minister McKenzie to not only talk about caring but put some action to his words. He now has a grand opportunity. The PNP will be holding a press conference with some of the Mayors of Municipal Corporations / Local Authorities on Tuesday of next week to further highlight the gravity of this matter.