Western News

Things looking up for Mount Salem

Residents benefit from job-readiness skills, improved access to critical social services

Friday, August 17, 2018

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RESIDENTS of Mount Salem — a zone of special operations (ZOSO) — have benefited from outreach activities aimed at providing them with job-readiness skills and improved access to critical social services.

According to a Ministry Paper tabled recently in the House of Representatives by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, since the community was declared a ZOSO on September 1, 2017, more than 100 residents have been trained under the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment Programme (HOPE).

In addition, 15 residents have completed training through the HEART Trust/NTA and graduated with level one certification in construction management.

At the same time, through the National Parenting Support Commission, parents from the community have been enrolled in training on proper parenting and soft skills.

Also, two community fairs were held with more than 2,000 services delivered including medical, dental and civil documentation.

In addition, back-to-school support has been provided residents, with approximately 97 children receiving supplies, including uniforms and books.

These are in addition to ongoing works to rehabilitate roads, regularise water and electricity, clean drains and remove solid waste, and upgrade schools, said the Ministry Paper.

It said interventions in Mount Salem are being guided by two primary approaches — crime prevention, through environmental design, and crime prevention, through social development.

The Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act gives the prime minister the power to declare an area a ZOSO in order to tackle increased crime and volatility. This is in consultation with the National Security Council.

The legislation, which was passed by the House of Representatives and Senate, also facilitates the implementation of key social interventions in communities adversely affected by crime and violence.

Denham Town in West Kingston is the other community that was declared a zone of special operations.

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