Prime Minister sets up committee to tackle rat problem
Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has mandated that a national programme be set-up to tackle public health concerns, including the current rat infestation.
An inter-ministerial committee, chaired by Information Minister Sandrea Falconer is to lead the process.
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister says the public health and safety concerns to be addressed include the rat infestation affecting the Corporate Area, and other parts of the country.
The committee, which had its first meeting today (April 23) has already decided on the need for a major public education programme and collaboration of effort between various agencies and departments.
The Prime Minister says a national focus is needed, including attention to places that prepare food, and where food is sold.
Mrs. Simpson Miller says this cannot be treated casually, highlighting the need for ministries to work together and to get into the communities, through public education.
She added that this is a matter that extends to the inspection of items coming into the island.
The broad-based committee, comprises the Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Local Government and Community Development, Education and Industry, Investment & Commerce along with the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation; Jamaica Information Service; National Solid Waste Management Authority and the National Environment and Planning Agency; the Port Authority, Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division and the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The committee will again meet this week to further explore and finalize its programme of action.
It was also agreed that the efforts will be part of a broader “Clean up Jamaica” Campaign.