Banks to benefit from $650-million development programme
THE COMMUNITY of Banks in Clarendon is among one of five communities selected to benefit from the $650-million allocation to the Rural Development Programme aimed at improving the lives and economic well-being of rural communities over the next two years.
During a media sensitisation session on the project last Thursday, Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Homer Davis said the project would be benefiting the people of Banks and the adjoining areas.
Explaining that the consultation would be carried out with the members and stakeholders from the community to decide on the most appropriate project, he highlighted some of his own findings from a tour he had carried out.
“We went and looked at an abandoned beach where some activities are still happening, and the first thing that came to my mind is that this would be ideal for an entertainment zone because there is no way you can disturb your neighbour when you a lick some Bob Marley. You only go there because you want to listen to music,” he said.
Expounding on the project, Davis said it would be an integrated one as it was not something that would be done and left to the community to sustain it.
According to Davis, part of the reason for pushing the project is to empower the citizens in order for them to enhance their own community.
“Because what we are seeking to do is to ensure you can stay here and build your community. Too often you find the rural folks drifting into the urban centres, and that in itself creates problems,” he stressed.
With the encouragement to carefully assess and think about an appropriate project, Davis said it would be strengthened by the involvement of the Social Development Commission and other agencies that would be a part of the consultation.
He also mentioned the creative ways some residents were sourcing their electricity, admitting that he understood their challenges.
Member of Parliament for Clarendon South West Lothan Cousins, commenting on the project, said he was looking forward to the successful implementation.
“This is not any political thing. It is a genuine interest in the development of the community,” he said, adding that there would be a series of consultations with the residents of the community in getting ideas on what is needed before the best way forward is decided.