Minister Says More Enforcement is Needed to Protect Water Assets

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says more enforcement is needed to protect the nation’s water assets from violations. Story Highlights Senator Charles Jr., who was speaking with stakeholders at the Manchester Municipal Corporation recently, to address water challenges affecting communities in the parish, outlined that many times water pipelines are breached by citizens and are not reported. This, he said, compromises reliable access to the precious commodity for law-abiding residents, particularly those living in communities facing water challenges. Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says more enforcement is needed to protect the nation’s water assets from violations.Senator Charles Jr., who was speaking with stakeholders at the Manchester Municipal Corporation recently, to address water challenges affecting communities in the parish, outlined that many times water pipelines are breached by citizens and are not reported.This, he said, compromises reliable access to the precious commodity for law-abiding residents, particularly those living in communities facing water challenges.“Breaches of pipelines have caused hundreds of persons to be cut off from water sources, and so we have asked the police to engage in these meetings, so that we can focus not only on distribution but on the enforcement aspect of protecting our water assets,” said the Minister.He pointed out that some persons breach the pipelines to water their plants and gardens, wash their cars, and sometimes use the water for their own domestic purposes.Senator Charles Jr. said that ramping up enforcement against the breaches is crucial to providing piped water to communities.“I will also ask the Councillors if they are seeing that in their own Divisions and if it is being reported. That is also a concern. Many times it is not reported, and so the police don’t take any action,” he noted.Responding, Deputy Superintendent of Police, in Manchester, Lloyd Terby, outlined that lawmen have recently been engaging in a number of joint operations with the National Water Commission (NWC) to enforce the law against breaches in the parish.“We will continue to have such operations, and I am encouraging the political representatives here to get in touch with the police if they see any breaches which prevent some citizens from receiving water,” he said. read more

RADA Says Glyphosate Poses No Risk When Used Appropriately

“The latest review was done in March/April 2019 which concluded that if glyphosate is used following its most current label, it does not cause risk to public health. A second outcome of the extensive review showed that glyphosate is not a cause of cancer,” she noted. Story Highlights Speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, Principal Director, Technical Services, RADA, Marina Young, said there have been numerous reviews of research findings to assess the risk the herbicide poses to public health between 2015 and 2019. The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) is assuring citizens that the herbicide, glyphosate, poses no risk to public health when it is used in accordance with its label. The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) is assuring citizens that the herbicide, glyphosate, poses no risk to public health when it is used in accordance with its label.Speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, Principal Director, Technical Services, RADA, Marina Young, said there have been numerous reviews of research findings to assess the risk the herbicide poses to public health between 2015 and 2019.“The latest review was done in March/April 2019 which concluded that if glyphosate is used following its most current label, it does not cause risk to public health. A second outcome of the extensive review showed that glyphosate is not a cause of cancer,” she noted.According to Mrs. Young, RADA and the Pesticide Control Authority (PCA) have been very diligent in ensuring that the heavily used registered pesticides are in the lower toxicity levels and will have the least impact on the environment and users’ health.“In Jamaica, glyphosate is used in 11 different products. Nine of those products which have glyphosate as the main ingredient are Class IV toxicity pesticides and are registered by the PCA for agricultural use and non-crop or industrial purposes. The other two products are Class III toxicity,” she added.Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Hazard Classification, Class IV is the lowest in terms of acute toxicity with Class I being the most toxic.Mrs. Young noted that glyphosate is one of the most commonly used herbicides because of the climate.“Jamaican agriculture is under tropical conditions and weeds are a major challenge to the crops as they compete for water, sunlight, nutrients and space; therefore, the use of the chemical is very essential for the successful management of the weeds,” she explained.Glyphosate-based pesticides are typically applied before seeds are sown or crops planted. The herbicide is registered locally to be used on the following crops: banana, citrus, coconut, coffee, mango, papaya, sugar cane, pumpkin, corn, pineapple, sweet and Irish potato and some vegetables. read more

CEO Says CPFSA Remains Steadfast in Mandate to Protect Children

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Rosalee Gage-Grey, says the agency remains steadfast in its mandate of protecting children from harm and ensuring their well-being. Story Highlights “We ensure that their voices are heard and they are never silenced or forced to live in fear. We guarantee you our children, that the policies impacting your lives are tailored for your benefit at all times. This is why we are on a campaign to make it known that every child deserves protection,” Mrs. Gage-Grey said. She was speaking at the fourth staging of the biennial National Children’s Summit (NCS), held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on Thursday (August 15). Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Rosalee Gage-Grey, says the agency remains steadfast in its mandate of protecting children from harm and ensuring their well-being.“We ensure that their voices are heard and they are never silenced or forced to live in fear. We guarantee you our children, that the policies impacting your lives are tailored for your benefit at all times. This is why we are on a campaign to make it known that every child deserves protection,” Mrs. Gage-Grey said.She was speaking at the fourth staging of the biennial National Children’s Summit (NCS), held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on Thursday (August 15).The CEO said the Summit has become a flagship event on the agency’s events calendar, and a valuable resource for the CPFSA in implementing effective interventions that serve the best interests of the children in care of the State.“Since its inception, the NCS has enabled our children in State care to interact with their peers while engaging them on topical issues and other matters that concern the future and well-being of the island’s youth. Therefore, the Summit will continue on the tradition of locking ideas that can benefit you our children,” she said.Mrs. Gage-Grey commended the Children’s Advisory Panel (CAP) for having the prudence to advocate for a Summit of this nature where the voices and views of the nation’s children can be heard.“It is through CAP that we have this national conversation about the rights of children. I am also very proud of what you have achieved and encourage you to continue influencing policymaking that benefit our children. Hearing from children is not only empowering for them, it helps us as adults to get things right,” she said.Mrs. Gage-Grey said this is particularly important as the policies, programmes and laws that are being shaped directly and indirectly impact children.“Our children are the consumer, the client and the recipients of so much of what we do. Ignoring the experiences and the views of children who are, after all, experts in their own lives will invariably lead to interventions that just don’t work for them,” the CPFSA head argued.Prior to the Summit, regional sessions were held with children across the island to compile a list of recommendations to issues affecting them.These recommendations will be analysed and used to shape changes in the CPFSA’s Corporate Strategic Plan and other policy frameworks. The information will also be incorporated into the National Children’s Summit 2019 Declaration that is being prepared by the delegates.Established in 2012, the CAP provides guidance and advice to the CPFSA Chief Executive Officer and management of the agency on ongoing matters pertaining to children in the child protection system and Jamaica.The Summit brings together children between 12 and 17 years of age from across the island (mainly wards of the State) and different interest groups. It creates an atmosphere for learning, exchange of ideas, developing and strengthening social skills.It is organised by the CPFSA, in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The Summit is held under the theme ‘Empowering Children, Uplifting Jamaica’.Some 1,200 children, caregivers and stakeholders took part in the workshop. read more