THE Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Council (KSAMC) has started work at South Parade in downtown Kingston, to improve facilities for vendors and commuters. The work commenced Tuesday, Labour Day.
A major project of the municipality, the work will include erection of a covered structure for the use of persons awaiting public transportation, as well as more comfortable occupation of the famous St William Grant Park in the centre of the commercial district. At present, commuters await transportation in the direct heat of the sun or seek cover elsewhere when it rains.
"It is very difficult for them as they have to stand facing direct sunlight, so the municipality is constructing covered areas there. It forms part of our general vision for the area, which is to create an area that provides for recreation and leisure and allows for interaction between our residents, visitors, culture and our history," Mayor Delroy Williams said.
He said that, in addition, the KSAMC will be painting the walls and marking lines at the nearby Wolmer's Car Park at the corner of Church Street and Parade.
KSAMC PR spokesman Jodian James said, "these works form part of the beginning of our efforts to transform the general Parade area to speak to its immense historical value, and the transformation of Parade into a space that allows for leisure and interaction with history and culture".
She said that this will be the first step towards providing several covered areas in sections of North and South Parade to be used by persons awaiting public transportation. As expected, the covered structure was not fully completed on Labour Day, and is likely to be completed within another two weeks, when repainting of walls and marking of lines at the old Wolmer's Car Park beside the Kingston Parish Church is expected to be done.
Other activities in Kingston and St Andrew included the planting of trees in Maverley and Duhaney Park.
Labour Day was commemorated under the theme, 'Plant a Tree for Life: Promoting Climate Change Mitigation, Food Security and Road Safety'. The national project was led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and involved the planting of 10,000 trees along Highway 2000.
Minister with responsibility for the environment, Senator Mathew Samuda, said that in addition to the individual projects, more trees were planted as the Government ramped up measures to increase Jamaica's forest cover under the National Tree Planting initiative.
He pointed out that an assessment of the areas showed that there were numerous Government-owned lands that were not sufficiently covered with trees, and that several privately held parcels of land could also do with some more trees.
In St Andrew, he said it is estimated that the areas along Lady Musgrave and East King's House roads could take some 3,000 trees within a kilometre of where the road expansion will take place.