ONE-MINUTE READS ... News from across Jamaica

January 25, 2022
Members of the Jamaica Defence Force at Friday’s Change of Command Parade for newly installed chief of defence staff, Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss Gorman at Up Park Camp.
Members of the Jamaica Defence Force at Friday’s Change of Command Parade for newly installed chief of defence staff, Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss Gorman at Up Park Camp.

Farm thieves told to find another occupation

Newly appointed Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr, has identified praedial larceny as one of the greatest challenges in the sector.

The minister has warned farm thieves to "find another occupation", noting that praedial larceny hampers agricultural growth and expansion.

"We are going to target you, find you, root you out and make sure you do not deter any of these youngsters who want to be farmer," Charles Jr said.

Praedial larceny is said to be costing Jamaican farmers an estimated $5-$6 billion each year.


Lucea to get 'Paint the City' facelift

The town of Lucea in Hanover has been chosen to be part of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development's 'Paint the City, Paint the Town' project.

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie, speaking during a tour of Lucea last Friday, said that Hanover is among five parishes across the country that are to take part in the rural project.

The programme, which was announced by McKenzie during his contribution to the 2021-2022 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives last May, will see an initial $300 million being spent on the first phase. The 'Paint the City, Paint the Town' project aims to generate employment through beautification, mural painting, street-sign installation and the improvement of selected markets.

"For Lucea, it will entail painting of the transportation centre, painting of the stalls in the market, painting the exterior of the market, painting the walls, and painting the police station and post office," said McKenzie.

"We are going to put in a recreational park just in front of the Hanover Municipal Corporation building and give the place a facelift, so it can lift the spirits of the people [and] give some energy and life to the town," he added.


Road deaths plunge

New data published by the Road Safety Unit has indicated a major decline in the number of deaths this year, as a result of traffic crashes.

As of Monday, 28 persons have been killed from fatal crashes on this nation's roads. This represents a 17 per cent decline, when compared with similar period in 2021.

Fatal crashes and fatalities during curfew hours have decreased by 57 per cent and 43 per cent when compared with similar period in 2021.

Despite the improvements, the director of the Road Safety Unit, Deidre Hudson-Sinclair, is urging road users to take road safety seriously as majority of road crashes are related to bad driving practices.

Statistics from the Road Safety Unit reveal that speeding, drivers failing to keep left and pedestrian error were the main causes of fatal crashes for 2021.

Last year, 484 persons perished in crashes. The Road Safety Unit said that 128 motorists died as result of excessive speeding with no regards to conditions; 100 motorists died from failing to keep to the near side or to the proper traffic lane; and 35 pedestrians died by walking or standing in the road.

A staggering 89 per cent of the persons who died are males.

"This is not comforting, as families are losing breadwinners, this can have severe consequences for the stability of homes, communities and the economy," Hudson-Sinclair said.


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