Category Archives: Jamaican Environmental

If you are interested in environmental issues, check out these posts for what is going on in Jamaica.

Jamaica Recycles Rubber Tyres!

I was excited to read that an existing Jamaican company based in Discovery Bay, St Ann is going to spread its wings into the recycling of tyres. This is brilliant news for Jamaica as an epidemic of discarded tyres, which mainly end up languishing at the Riverton Landfill site in Kingston are overtaking our Land of Wood and Water! This huge pile of tyres has been disposed of ‘responsibly’  and is estimated to cover some 5 acres of land. But, tyres take decades to breakdown and it has often been the source of air clogging fires. By recycling the tyres it will free up Jamaica’s landfill space and hopefully end the illegal disposal of tyres into the rivers, gulleys, beaches and other areas of natural beauty which create greater environmental hazards. Therefore may I present another brilliant Jamaican company that deserves to be highlighted in the SUPPORT JAMAICA BUY JAMAICAN! campaign for environmental goodness all round!

Who is behind the Tyre Recycling in Jamaica?

SKDP Haulage and Distribution Limited have set up Jamaica Rubber Products, or JRP to tackle tyre recycling in Jamaica. They not taken this initiative lightly as they have researched waste tyre disposal for two years and have come up with a solution that is viable in terms of the ‘way’ the tyres are recycled and it  is an innovative use of an otherwise unwanted commodity. JRP are now ready and in the process of  sourcing tyres, installing manufacturing equipment and they plan to start production in mid-July. They hope to of disposed of 40% to 60% of Jamaica’s waste tyres in the next 10 years.

How will the Tyres be Recycled?

The tyres will be separated from their rims in a process known as ‘de-beading’, then they are ground into a rubber powder, which is commonly known as ‘rubber crumb’. This can be made in an assortment of sizes and is planned for use in Jamaica, with the excess expected to be exported overseas.

The rubber crumb can be used in a number of applications, such as the repair of roadways. When the rubber crumb is added to an asphalt mix it not only means that less asphalt is needed, it also increases the elasticity of the road surface, making it more durable and  less brittle, which lengthens the lifespan of the road. Other benefits include that the road is made stronger, safer, is quieter to drive over, it can greater strains and lasts up to twice as long as asphalt without the rubber crumb added.

Copyright Bryan Cummings
Copyright Bryan Cummings

 

Why is the Recycling of Tyres a Good Idea?

Many old tyres are left lying around creating an eyesore and providing an ideal breeding ground for mosquitos when stagnant water collects inside, creating a risk of Malaria and Dengue Fever. The vast majority of the rest are burnt as a means of disposal. This method causes noxious (poisonous) gases to be leached into the air which can be a leading component in respiratory disease like Asthma and Cancer. As each tyre contains lead and about a gallon of oil the fire can burn uncontrollably and the fire is hard to put out. All these chemicals are bad for the air we breathe and the environment.

What is there not to love about this initiative?!

How can I Get my old Tyres Recycled in Jamaica?

If you have any old tyres or work in the automotive industry you can contact JRP on the details below:

S.K.D.P. Haulage & Distribution Ltd 

P.O. Box 160

Discovery Bay

St. Ann

Mr. Sherold Philbert

Managing Director

Tel:       (876) 973-9346/9345

Fax:      (876) 973-9346

Email:  phili@cwjamaica.com

 

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Come on Jamaica! Get involved in Recycling Today!

 

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 NOTICE: The images used in this post are copyright of Bryan Cummings and where originally featured in the Gleaner.

Green Age World taking over the Caribbean

There is a lot of ‘hype’ around at the moment about Going Green or Being Green, but what does it all mean?  Being considered ‘Green’ is a lifestyle choice, where you have to get involved to make a difference by making changes to the way you live your life. It is all very well to interject this latest buzz word into conversations to make us seem to be ‘in the know’, but to make a quantifiable difference to the environment it takes more effort than just shedding some hot air on the topic. Tackling environmental issues goes wider than just looking at what is happening in Jamaica alone, it is a Caribbean issue, it is a global issue and it is an issue that we should all take a keen interest in. Which is why I have sought out a shining star in the making to give us all a greater insight into what Being Green really means and how it affects us…

Jamaica is a part of the wider Caribbean, a collection of islands brimming with beauty and brains. Not content with becoming a forward thinker within her own demographics, Jamilia Parris is a Barbadian on a mission to educate, inform and transform our lives. With a plan to make a difference that was hatched on the floor in her mother’s house over half a decade ago, Jamilia has been steadfast in her dream to get the message across. Green Age World is a fresh, young and green brand that is actually part of a portfolio of companies that Jamilia is heading to get people and organisations involved in Green issues. Jamilia took some time out from her busy schedule to answer some questions and I hope that her words will inspire you to jump to the ‘Green side’ with conviction!

 

Interview questions

1. Introduce yourself and your role in the company?

My name is Jamilia Parris. I am Founder and CEO of Green Age World and everything Green Age Caribbean (GAC).  Currently, I wear all the hats. I do get some help and advice from experienced and capable friends and colleagues though.

2. When was your company established and why did you choose this career path?

I feel more like this career path chose me, I just accepted it.

 

3. What can we expect from your portfolio of companies?

People can expect to see a young and cool brand that’s all about living green. Don’t expect another NGO site or some boring execution. Nope. We’re going to pop up on your streets, or in your markets, you can interact with us on your smartphones and tablets and come for a chill with us on our website. We’re going to be everywhere you are and we’re going to give you things to check out, things to do, make you feel good and make you smarter, and most importantly, inspire and motivate you to take it green. The people are it, and we believe that, I believe that and our Caribbean people know that. Green is a conscious lifestyle not a task to save the World.

Green Age World I
Green Age World I

4. Where is your Head Office based and how do you serve Jamaica and the wider Caribbean?

There is no head office and I don’t intend for there to be one really in the foreseeable future. The office is wherever I and my future employees are. Green Age World serves not only Jamaicans but all our Caribbean people. The company is a social enterprise, meaning that while we operate for profit, we do so for the people. The brand belongs to Caribbean people and it is EXTREMELY important for them to know and enjoy that. 🙂 Check out the About section on our Facebook page to see what I’m talking about. We are a “Virtual Enterprise”, this keeps costs down and saves on elements that will make us as green as we want to be.

 

5. How do you involve Jamaica(n’s) in your projects?

Remember I said the brand is for the people, it’s an entity our Caribbean people are a part of, truly, for they are and are the ones who will make Green Age Caribbean a reality. The company/brand is not just your normal entity who wants to accumulate patronage; Green Age Caribbean needs a lot more than that to become a reality. I have great things in store for our people in the future, and we’re all going to love it when they happen.

 

GAC: It needs small steps by its people, acceptance, determination, and a burning love for ALL our little worlds that make up this region we live in and so love. How we involve Jamaicans? The company wants its GAC citizens (Caribbean people) to actively play a role in deciding where and to whom the company distributes its social funds and support. As a social enterprise, social responsibility is actually a part of our cost structure, why the company is in business. Jamaicans say “out of many, one people”, well I 100% agree, we are all one people in the Caribbean so we will make this a Green Caribbean and show the rest of the World how forward thinking we can be.

 

Green Age World III
Green Age World III

 

6.  Where are you from, are you Jamaican?

I am from the Caribbean, that’s how I feel. I was born and raised in Barbados, but I am the dictionary definition of Caribbean.

 

7. What new company plans and visions are you working on?

Well our Caribbean and global launch is the biggest plan. There are basic things still to be done and after that will be our awesome website. In between all that there is much to be done to build awareness among Caribbean people.  There’s going to be a cool Green Age Caribbean (GAC) interactive e-magazine that I expect shall be well-received. A youth program is critical to the success of the company mission and we shall be working with NGO’s as much as possible to realize and develop that. Our future holds a big touring company event and even an innovative housing solution, YES, really.

8. What is your personal favourite project you are working on and why?

Besides Green Age World? 🙂

9. Who or what, is your inspiration or role model? 

I observe a lot and I also dream a lot. The latter’s the reason I’m working on this whole thing. I also have an unquenchable thirst for “the better”. Those 3 things combined inspire me and continue to do so. I have a vision for how thriving the people of the Caribbean can be and I just want to help to make that happen. Green Age World was conceptualized 6 years ago around 8pm on my mother’s living room floor and from then I knew it just HAD to be. How could it not? In no way did I have the skill-set then that I do now though, and I’m glad for the people I have supporting me and that I have the knowledge that I do to even attempt to execute my dream that is one for the people and our nations, not just myself.  I can’t say that I have a role model, I never really thought about it honestly. I have a standard for myself and certain expectations I live by and I guess these were informed by watching and interacting with other people as I grew up.

Besides family, lots of people have “touched” me and influenced and contributed to the person I am today. Those people on the streets that were strangers to me (and there have been many throughout my life) and whom said stuff like, “I’m going to see you in the papers someday doing something great” or “You are going to do something big with your life”, I never forget them. That something big and that greatness is my current project, this is my belief. Today I remember and I think they are incredible because they didn’t know me and they just clearly saw things in me I didn’t embrace nor know I had in me then. So among other things are they, those strangers and my people who help drive me every day to continue working on my initiative and seeing it through and I don’t even know their names.

10. Where can we get information about your company projects, in Jamaica and overseas?

We’re on Facebook so find us and talk to us there also people can follow us on Twitter to show their support. When we get it up and running there shall be interactive group boards on Pinterest for the brand so if you’re not there yet, get an account and follow us for now because we’ll be following back and pinning together soon. There will be newsletters; I’ll be actively trying and forging deals with Caribbean brands, all so that the company can help provide people with special offers on their favourite products and services to make green things more accessible and affordable to the masses. That’s important. I’m pushing an ideal but people in any situation need to be able to take it and run with it. That’s the key. I hope those green brands out there are listening.

Subscribers also get inside information on the company’s developments and there are exciting things to come. So, people really need to subscribe with us to access these benefits in the future. Right now there’s an email tab on our Facebook page which people can use to subscribe quickly with us. There’s an email requirement but I also have an option for people to give us their mobile information (to support future SMS/MMS communications) to stay in touch with each other-company and people.

11. How do you love to spend your free time? 

I’ll answer that according to my life now. I love reading. I read a perfectly fictional fantasy adventure book that takes me out of this world and into another for just a little bit. Sometimes I may just watch a movie. That’s the easiest escape I have nowadays. If I could carry the beach everywhere, well now, that would be it. I spend my entire time, whether free or not, GREEN.

Blue Mountains - Green Age World
Blue Mountains – Green Age World

12. Which Jamaican, dead or alive, do you feel made the biggest contribution to Jamaica and why?

Bob Marley. Basically, he put Jamaica on the global map, proving that a small island, one small good thing, can have a decade’s long, a lasting impact on the ENTIRE world.



14. If you could impart one piece of advice to inspire young people to start their own businesses or succeed in their chosen career, what would it be? 

Be resilient. Be determined. Be Creative. Also, don’t ever let ANYONE make you believe that you can’t do something or won’t get something regardless of who they are to you, parents and family included. Seriously. If I listened and followed all the negative things that were said to me or the things I heard, I would not have made some of my dreams and goals come true so far and I certainly would not have become a Founder of a social enterprise right now trying to do what it’s doing. This advice refers to positive things, of course. 🙂 Take the warnings. Appreciate the fact that this path (entrepreneurship) means sacrifice and risk and go for it. Somebody somewhere has your back. I sure do. Jamaicans have impacted the World in many ways including education, sports and certainly music and culture, there is absolutely nothing that could stop you if you’re truly determined to a higher level of life.

15. If you could change jobs, what would you do?

I wouldn’t change jobs, or career paths I should say. I’m better off being an entrepreneur. That said, I never dream of giving up on Green Age World and all its activities. It’s hard and overwhelming but the vision is big so I’m OK with that. However, if I didn’t have this drive and passion, I probably would have become a lawyer, an environmental lawyer.

16. What do you believe will contribute most to your company’s ongoing success? 

My company’s success will depend on a combination of things. One of the most critical things is that the brand needs to be embraced by Caribbean people in a true way. In this case the word ‘people’ refers to our free users and our prospective sponsors, advertisers, and donors.

17. What do you feel your company has to offer the international and home markets, over and above your competitors?

The brand is one that the Caribbean people can literally belong to and that’s a great, powerful thing. It’s meaningful. It’s a sense of ownership in changing the World into a better place; we can be leaders in this race. Perhaps many about to read this may say I’m looking through rose-coloured glasses here; I don’t acknowledge my competitors or potential ones as truly that. Green Age World is an era, an attitude, a behavior, a lifestyle. Green Age Caribbean or a green Caribbean is an ideal and region we all now need to create one home or one step at a time. I’m trying to execute a great, necessary thing here, building something that’s owned by not me as I see it, but by the Caribbean people. I therefore consider my competitors as partners and potential partners anyway, and I hope they see me as such. We cannot be competitively green; we have to be collectively green.

 

18. How do you believe as a nation we can help to build the Caribbean?


You kind of just said it. Caribbean people need to unite, truly unite. People within our countries need also to unite and embrace each other. We all have our differences but we still need to live together. Traveling as much as I have has shown me that our waters are our blessing; it gives us the diversity and nuances of culture and norms from island to island. That’s what’s so fun and priceless about the region. Our waters though, to me, are also our limitation in some ways. Ever thought of what the Caribbean would be like if it were a single land mass like our continental neighbours, especially our northern neighbours? See the advantage yet? There would be more stable or, at least, stronger economies perhaps? There would probably or most certainly be a more mobile people in every sense of the word, greater self-reliance, one economy or fewer ones anyways, instead of several all trying to make it on their own at various stages of economic development or prosperity…? Those are but few of the innumerable positive possibilities if it were so. But it’s not. We need to come together. We need to ensure our people the ability to be able to do so. Our people need to be able to “hop around” with ease, there is much to be gained by movement but I shall not get into that now. To say the least and reiterate, we all need to unite, genuinely, and that starts mentally.

 

19. What are your aspirations for the future of the wider Caribbean?

A Green Caribbean of course. Basically, that’s a healthy, thriving people within green economies of resilient nations of the Caribbean. We have a paradise that people around the world dream of and spend thousands just to see and experience. We need to protect that and inspire them to protect their own nations when they go back home. We need to make our cultures, environment and creativity work for us in a big way. Caribbean people are creative, it’s in us, not something that’s learned, yet our creative industries lack so much infrastructure and support it is with great misfortune. And youth suffer because of this. We are forcing right brain thinkers to be academic when they should be creatively entrepreneurial. I believe our creative genius is a gold mine, just like our beautiful waters and lush nations and I wish the industry was stronger and taken more seriously. We can do we and survive from it. Beyond that, I’m a U.W.I. graduate and I’ve always believed in the idea that universities are pioneers of their societies. Pioneers. I want to see a Caribbean that is a direct effect of the University of the West Indies that it owns. Simple.

Green Age World II
Green Age World II

 

20. How can people get to contribute or get involved with Green Age World?

There is much work to be done if people wish to join me in executing this beauty of mine and theirs. I welcome it so they can contact me if interested. Again, the brand is and shall be very much a social one so people can choose to play a supportive role. We have an aim to be interactive, so, Caribbean people can stay in touch with us via the media and email mentioned earlier or, offer a donation or sponsorship if they wish to help with start-up and other operational costs. The brand is theirs and ours. I welcome any contribution and requests for involvement.

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Contact Details for Jamilia Parris at Green Age World

 

Jamilia Parris

CEO/Founder

Green Age World

Email:  contact@greenageworld.com

Our website is http://www.greenageworld.com

FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/greenageworld

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/greenageworld

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Conserving Energy in Jamaica with Avenir Energy Solutions

Jason Patterson is one of a new generation of young Jamaican’s shining a beacon of hope over Jamaica. Through his entrepreneurial spirit he has formed a forward thinking company ‘Avenir Energy Solutions’ which is helping to build a greener Jamaica. The company works at grass-roots level,  re-educating Jamaican’s on sustainable development practises and green issues and offers solutions to combat them.  Jason’s portfolio also covers auditing a building’s energy consumption and providing sustainable ways to cut it. Not content with this, philanthropic tendencies have also seen him providing pro-bono assistance to a Kingston Boys’ School among other projects.

Here we are pleased to share Jason’s story with our readers and hope to inspire others to become green and to take up the challenge of being a young entrepreneur in Jamaica…

Interview questions

 

1. Introduce yourself and your role in the company?

My name is Jason Patterson, and I am the Founder and Managing Director of Avenir Energy Solutions.

2. When was your company established and why did you choose this career path?

Avenir Energy Solutions was founded in 2013 as a result of my interest in Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development to me is about creating long-term solutions for a number of problems such as poverty reduction, environmental issues etc.

3.What is your company philosophy?

  • We put our Customers first and strive to secure their loyalty through top quality products and service.
  • We value our Employees and seek to help them achieve their full potential.
  • We embrace Professionalism and seek Excellence in everything we do.
  • We do our best to help our Communities be better places in which to live, work and grow.

4. Tell me about your typical working day?

My typical day usually starts at 6:00am. I start by reading online articles related to my fields of interest – some of which I schedule for sharing throughout the day across our social media channels. Since we are constantly focused on providing our clients with the latest and most effective solutions, I spend a couple of hours reading product reviews and contacting potential suppliers. After this, I review my to-do-list (keeps me sane!) and I try to start by “eating the frog” – which translates to executing the hardest task on my to-do-list first.

I try to schedule all conference calls and/or meetings with clients and suppliers for early to mid-afternoon. Since we are currently in pre-launch phase, contact with my mentor and marketing personnel is also crucial as we are working to devise strategies and marketing material. Following this, my focus switches to completing any outstanding project proposals and reports for our clients.

My late evenings are usually reserved for friends and family.

5. Where is your Head Office based and do you manufacture / produce your products in Jamaica?

We currently operate from my home office in Mandeville, Manchester. As a result of the technical requirements associated with our current business model, all of our products are imported from the United States and Asia.

6. Are you Jamaican?

Yes.

7. What new company plans and visions are you working on?

Education plays a crucial role in increasing awareness of the benefits of Sustainable Development. Therefore, we are currently focused on developing material and campaigns to educate people of these benefits, as well as inform them of no-cost/low-cost strategies which can be easily implemented.

Avenir Infographic
Avenir Infographic

8. What is your personal favourite project you are working on and why?

We recently partnered with Dennergy Solutions and the Kimroy Bailey Foundation to design and implement a pro bono project for the Alpha Boys’ School in Kingston, Jamaica. The Alpha Boys’ School is a catholic owned institution which is committed to the development and care of exposed and underprivileged young men. The school has and continues to benefit thousands of young boys in Jamaica.

Funding to conduct a Level II Energy Audit has already been secured through the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ). We are currently developing a sustainable energy plan for Alpha that is to culminate with implemented technical, behavioural and social interventions that will no doubt see Alpha well on their way to energy sustainability.

This project has the potential to positively impact thousands of lives, and while it is still in the early stages of planning and development, the support from the public has been overwhelming. More updates to come…

9. Who or what, is your inspiration or role model?

Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, is in my opinion the embodiment of real entrepreneurship – vision, creativity, innovation, passion and hard work. While he has amassed great wealth and has founded over 400 companies, he remains committed to his belief that business can be used as a force for good.

I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Sir Richard… Awesome!

Richard Branson and I
Richard Branson and I

10. Where can we buy your products in Jamaica and overseas?

Currently, our products/services are available in Jamaica to persons/organisations on a project basis. Our website is currently under construction and will soon be updated with a full overview of our offering.

11. If you could impart one piece of advice to inspire young Jamaicans to start their own businesses or succeed in their chosen career, what would it be?

Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.

12. If you could change jobs, what would you do?

I enjoy being an entrepreneur and running a company that helps others to achieve their sustainability goals.

13. Apart from your own company, what is your favourite Jamaican company and why?

 Having met Donna Duncan-Scott, the former Managing Director of Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB), and listening to her convey her passion for JMMB’s staff and clients, I would have to say that they are one of my favourite companies. JMMB possesses a strong corporate culture (unconditional love and mutual respect) and they embrace social responsibility through initiatives such as the Joan Duncan Foundation. Traits which I also want to convey through my businesses.

14. What do you believe contributes most to your company’s on-going success?

Constant communication with our clients and suppliers. This keeps us attune to our clients needs and the markets offerings. We have an open door policy where our current and potential clients are concerned – no query or concern is too small.

15. What do you feel your company has to offer the international and home markets, over and above your competitors?

While a vast number of competitors exist within our industry, our small size allows us to be flexible and to focus on our clients and provide them with best in class products and service. We pride ourselves on educating our clients and providing the best solutions for their path to sustainable development, and we look forward to growing with them.

16. How do you believe as a nation we can help to build Jamaica?

 I believe that Jamaica possesses a strong potential for growth if our support for local industries and local production is increased. Campaigns such as your ‘SUPPORT JAMAICA BUY JAMAICAN!’ and Neil Curtis’ ‘Farm Up Jamaica’ have the potential to make a significant contribution to our economy and reduce unemployment.

17. What are your aspirations for Jamaica?

I wish to see Jamaica realise its true economic potential, and to see the lives of our citizens improve, especially the underprivileged. I hope to aid in this development through Avenir Energy Solutions, and all of my other business ventures that follow.

18. How can people start getting involved with Green Solutions?

‘Going green’ doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it have to be an inconvenience. There are several low-cost strategies, such as switching to LED lighting, which can make a significant contribution to our journey towards sustainable development. We post no-cost/low-cost tips and tricks to reduce energy consumption on our social media channels on a daily basis.

19. How do you love to spend your free time in Jamaica?

I enjoy reading as well as spending time with friends and family. I have a small circle of close friends that enjoy a good lyme/flex and my family enjoys getting together to preparing large meals and hanging out.

Avenir Flyer
Avenir Flyer

Avenir Energy Solutions Contact Details

Direct: (876)-371-2065

Website: www.avenirenergysolutions.com

Email: info@avenirenergysolutions.com

Facebook: facebook.com/avenirenergysolutions

Twitter: twitter.com/avenirenergy

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Plant Sup’n with ‘Farm Up Jamaica’!

Farm Up Jamaica is the vision of Neil Curtis, an inspirational Jamaican living in New York. Like many Jamaicans living abroad, Neil keeps a keen eye on the goings-on back home. Frustrated by the continuing depreciation of the Jamaican Dollar,  high unemployment rates and the decline in home-grown produce, Neil hatched an ambitious plan to help heal Jamaica. The result is ‘Farm Up Jamaica’, a visionary project that is a  many faceted and utterly brilliant master plan to make a quantifiable difference in Jamaica.

What Makes Farm Up Jamaica Special?

Farm Up Jamaica gets its funding from donations, gifts in-kind and through volunteering work, much of which is through the Jamaican diaspora. The Non-Profit Organisation works with the Jamaican Ministry of Agriculture to find gaps in the market contributing to the excessive food importations into Jamaica. It uses this information to channel the donations to offer help, employment, education and empowerment to farmers who had all but given up. The revolutionary concept is breathing new life into Jamaican farming with Organic and Sustainable Farming practices. These Organic crops are then available to buy locally in Jamaica and will also enable greater exportation possibilities, helping to stabilise the gap between imports and exports. Plus, the implementation of Organic and Sustainable farming practices is better for us when we consume the pesticide free food and it’s also really good for the Environment too.  An all-round Win, Win situation!

Sweet Jamaica Interview with Farm Up Jamaica

I am pleased to announce that the CEO of Farm Up Jamaica, Neil Curtis, took some time out of his busy schedule to take part in Sweet Jamaica Jules’ ‘SUPPORT JAMAICA, BUY JAMAICAN!’ interview series. Neil shares his story and views about his organisation with us in this fascinating read!

 

1. Introduce yourself and your role in the company?

Hello, my name is Neil Curtis and I am the founder and CEO of Farm Up Jamaica Limited.

 

2. When was your company established and why did you choose this career path?

Our organisation was founded in July 2013. The reason we chose this path was to create a trustworthy way for diaspora to give back that would have a direct and measurable effect on Jamaica.

3. Tell me about your typical working day?

 A work day in New York consists of:

  • Communicating by phone and email with farmers who want to participate in the program.
  • Diaspora meetings in person, by phone, email and Skype etc
  • Interaction with other organizations who want to partner or help the cause
  • Working with our fundraising co-ordinator to identify or improve ways to raise funds
  • Creating Memorandum of Understanding for organisations that we are partnering with
  • Researching new seeds and best practises for Organic Farming
  • Live television and radio interviews into U.S., U.K. and Canada
  • Consistent communication with our staff and board members

A work day in Jamaica consists of:

  • Visits to our current farmers to make sure they are functioning optimally
  • Meetings with prospective farmers and their families
  • Distribution of Organic seeds and fertilisers to our member farmers
  • Interacting with companies who want to partner or sponsor the cause
  • Meetings with government agencies for agricultural technical advice or administration
  • Negotiating with our vendors to ensure we are receiving the best possible pricing, discounts and incentives
  • Creating work forces in areas of interest and ensuring that it includes the best possible pricing, discounts and incentives
  • Creating work forces in areas of interest and ensuring that it includes local farmers, students, inner city youth and volunteers

 

Young and Old Farmers Getting Involved
Farmers Getting Involved

4. What is your company philosophy?

 Our company philosophy is to reduce the importation of foreign food by planting our own healthy organic food to save a nation in more ways than one.

5. Where is your Head Office based and do you manufacture / produce your products in Jamaica?

Our Head Office is based in New York. We don’t currently manufacture but all crops that are grown in Jamaica.

6. Do you use Jamaican raw materials in your products?

We use as much Jamaican raw material that is available and only go outside if necessary.

7. Are you Jamaican?

I am Jamaican, from St. Catherine.

8. Tell me your top 3 likes and dislikes about Jamaica?

 Likes about Jamaica:

  1. Nature
  2. Music
  3. Food

Dislikes about Jamaica:

  1. 1. Resources taken for granted
  2. 2. Economy
  3. 3. Crime

9. What new company plans and visions are you working on?

Organic onion production to replace the 90 percent of onions being imported into Jamaica. Non-GMO organic corn production for local and export markets. Students growing organic food for a lunch program.

Plant Sup'n Jamaica!
Plant Sup’n Jamaica!

10. What is your personal favourite project you are working on and why?

My favourite project is the organic onion cultivation, because it is a serious Jamaican concern and will have a measurable impact on the importation of onions which is a basic staple in every kitchen.

11. Who or what, is your inspiration or role model?

A true love for Jamaica and wanting to see it recover has inspired me to start this organisation.

12. Where can we buy your products in Jamaica and overseas?

Our products will be available under the Farm Up Jamaica label in your local supermarkets in Jamaica. Overseas supermarkets will also have our products where other Jamaican food products are sold.

13. How do you love to spend your free time in Jamaica?

I spend my free time enjoying nature in Jamaica and visiting places that I’ve never been to.

14. If you could be Prime Minister of Jamaica for a day, what would you do?

If I were Prime Minister for a day I would write a policy to effectively address and reduce crime. This would help to motivate lots of returning residents and tourists and create more income for the Jamaican economy!

15. Which Jamaican, dead or alive, do you feel made the biggest contribution to Jamaica and why?

I believe that Marcus Garvey made the biggest contribution to Jamaica. He believed that anything is possible and proved it. Many Jamaicans wait to travel to other countries to evolve into greatness. I believe we need to evolve at home and make Jamaica a greater country!

16. If you could impart one piece of advice to inspire young Jamaicans to start their own businesses or succeed in their chosen career, what would it be?

 My advice to young Jamaican’s is to firstly learn money management skills and then start their own businesses and grow their companies to become internationally recognised.

17. If you could change jobs, what would you do?

If I could change jobs, I wouldn’t! I love what I do…

18. Apart from your own company, what is your favourite Jamaican company and why?

My favourite company is Grace. I love the way they have been able to show how a Jamaican company can diversify and grow to become an international brand!

19. What do you believe contributes most to your company’s on-going success?

What contributes to my organizations on-going success is being able to teach people that the glass is half full and not half empty. Bringing inspiration to farmers that thought their lives were over and converting them into patriotic food security soldiers keeps Farm Up Jamaica alive.

20. What do you feel your company has to offer the international and home markets, over and above your competitors?

Our company offers a unique product which is organic Jamaican food. It’s what sets us apart.

21. How do you believe as a nation we can help to build Jamaica?

We can help build Jamaica by becoming a part of the solution. Agriculture only represents 6% of the Jamaican GDP. If the whole country would focus on increasing this number we can build a self-sufficient Jamaica. “Plant Sup’n”.

All Organic
All Organic

 22. What are your aspirations for Jamaica?

My aspirations for Jamaica is to see the country live up to its popularity, by not only becoming a great place to visit, but a great place to do business.

23. How can people contribute or get involved with Farm Up Jamaica?

People can contribute funds, time, equipment, training, materials, etc.

Farmers can get involved by calling us at: (USA) 516-376-1626 or (JAMAICA) 876-592-5992.

Check out our website: WWW.FARMUPJAMAICA.ORG

We can also be reached by email at: INFO@FARMUPJAMAICA.ORG

Volunteers can email: VOLUNTEERS@FARMUPJAMAICA.ORG

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What are you doing to celebrate Earth Hour? What do you think about climate change? Get in touch below we look forward to hearing from you…

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Earth Hour Jamaica 2014

What is Earth Hour?

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) conceived the idea for a symbolic event showing a commitment to making positive action for the environment and Earth Hour was born. This campaign encourages governments, businesses and individuals to switch off any non-essential lights for one set hour. The event started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007, but has now spread to include 152 countries participating in the Event, which is being held today, the 29th March 2014.

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Nelson Mandela

 “Let us stand together to make of our world a sustainable source for our

future as humanity on this planet” 

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How is Jamaica Celebrating Earth Hour?

Jamaica is joining the events marking Earth Hour for the second year running and is celebrating the initiative with a free acoustic reggae concert in Kingston at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre. The concert is being used as a medium to show Jamaica’s ongoing commitment to tackling climate change and raise public awareness of the issues. At 8.30pm participants at the concert will release 100 lanterns to officially mark Earth Hour, whilst other Jamaicans across the island are being asked to turn off any non-essential lights.

The concert is being organised by Jamaicansmusic.com, in partnership with Flow and includes acts Rootz Underground, Jesse Royal,  I-Wayne, Iba Mahr, Runkus and the Old Skl Band, Aisha Davis, Sezi, Stephanie, Sevana, Dann-I, SkyGrass, Nature, Jah Bouks, Charmaine, Ikaya, Ruth Royes, BLACKasCOLE, Dburnz, Machu Ezra, Eva Hype, D’Yani, Cali P. The concert will be hosted by Jah9, Bay-C of T.O.K, Stephen Newland of Rootz Underground and Keida.

Earth Hour Jamaica Concert
Earth Hour Jamaica Concert

What do the Organisers Hope to Achieve?

We hope that more companies locally will participate in the fight against climate change and spread the word about this movement. We will print and distribute 1,000 tickets which will allow FREE access to the event. A $500 fee will be charged at the gate for patrons without a ticket. Proceeds from the concert will go to Jamaica Environment Trust, a non-profit, non-governmental membership organization who operate Jamaica’s largest environmental education program, the Schools Environment Programme.

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Soundbites About Earth Hour

Thoughts from some of the people involved in Earth Hour.

 

Andy Ridley, CEO and Co- Founder, Earth Hour.

“People from all walks of life, from all nations around the world, are the lifeblood of the Earth Hour global community. They are true beacons of hope, demonstrating what happens when innovation and passion come together to address the biggest challenges of our time. They have proven time and time again that if you believe in something strongly enough, you can achieve amazing things. These stories aren’t unique, this is happening all over the world,”

Gail Abrahams, director of corporate communications for Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited, operators of the Flow brand.

 “Climate change is one of the most important issues affecting our planet. Our partnership for the Earth Hour concert enables us to demonstrate our commitment to action on climate change via initiatives to minimize our negative impact on the environment. As a technology company, we use this opportunity to highlight the importance of smart and responsible use of technology so that we are solving problems rather than creating more for the future.”

Alex Morrissey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Jamaicansmusic.com

“We’re grateful to have Flow on board again for the second Earth Hour Concert. With Flow’s assistance, we will make progress on our efforts to transcend into a national movement through their reach to a wide cross-section of customers. It’s great to have corporate Jamaica demonstrating their firm commitment and recognition of the importance of efforts to save our planet. Our music has proven time and time again to be one of the most effective ways to convey important messages to Jamaicans. This Earth Hour Concert provides an opportunity to increase awareness of environmental issues in Jamaica. We are excited to join with these talented artistes and the organisers of Earth Hour for this incredible event and encourage as many persons as possible to attend.”

Some of these soundbites were originally from an article in the Jamaican Observer.

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Earth Hour Jamaica 2014
Earth Hour Jamaica 2014

Find out more about the concert at the Jamaicans Music Website Here…

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Grow What You Eat – Jamaica Part 3

Container Gardening in Tropical Climates

The idea for my Container Garden came after a combination of missing the pleasure of growing pesticide free foodstuffs and the desire to put some life into my dreary front veranda. As I live in a rented apartment I need to be aware of not changing anything, plus there is little outside space that I can claim so a Container Garden is ideal. Not only are they non-permanent, you can take all the containers, plants and soil with you when you move so it also saves money, time and effort too! It is easy to manage and keep an eye on a container garden and if something doesn’t work out they are inexpensive to replant with something else. As this is my first time container gardening in the tropical climate of Jamaica, it is going to be trial and error with what will work out. But I am encouraged by the results so far as seedlings start sprouting, this is a record of the growth as of 20th March 2014.

My Cucumber, Garden Peas and French (String) Bean Seedlings

The large planter that was sown on the 3rd of March has a selection of seedlings growing, all of which are coming along so well that I am wondering whether there will be enough room.  Although, I had planned to take out the Tomato and potentially the Cucumber when they had put on a few leaves, in order to give the beans and peas more room. The Tomato is growing at a much slower rate than the Peas and Beans and even the Cucumber is bigger, so the Tomato seedlings look too straggly to be moved at the moment. I am hoping that the Peas and Beans can be encouraged to grow up in vines, as they are ‘bush’ varieties and not supposed to get too big.

Making a Recycled Growing Frame

As there is a multitude of creeping vegetables in the large trough planter I have constructed a frame for the vines to grow along. I found three pieces of metal bar with pre-drilled holes along the length that  were unwanted, so I tethered them together in the corners and tied the whole contraption to the trough planter for sturdiness. Using the holes as eyelets I threaded a metal cord vertically across the bars until I had reached the top. I am not sure that it will be large enough to support all the Garden Peas and French (String) Beans in the trough, but I will extend it if need be.

Recycled Growing Frame
Recycled Growing Frame

My Beetroot Seedlings

The recycled 15 litre oil bottle that was planted up with Beetroot on the 11th March, has also seen growth and the seedlings are coming up in neat rows. I have sprinkled some egg-shell among the seedlings to help keep down the slugs and snails and I keep a keen eye on how much water they are getting. The container seems to be working well so far and is easy to slide around the tiny grass patch for the best spot to get rain, shade and sun.

Beetroot 20 MAR 2014
Beetroot 20 MAR 2014

My Lettuce Seedlings

Of the two types of lettuce that I planted up in recycled soda bottles the Oak Leaf seedlings are the biggest, although the Iceberg is making an appearance. There was a torrential rain storm which all but flooded out some of my collection of containers and I was wondering whether they would still germinate, luckily the lettuce wasn’t totally washed away!

My Okra Seedlings

I am really pleased that several of my Okra seeds have germinated in the 10″ pot. I have tried to grow Okra in the greenhouse at my allotment in the UK, but it was never successful. Although they would grow a few leaves and a tiny Okra would appear, the seedling would always die as it never gets enough heat and sunlight. I have high hopes for these seedlings in the tropical heat of Jamaica and hope I will get some proper growth off of them.

Okra 20 MAR 2014
Okra 20 MAR 2014

My Pepper Seedlings

Mmm, this is a bit awkward…. there aren’t any! They also got flooded out in the rain storm, along with the Tomato seeds in the small soda bottles and I am afraid they haven’t sprouted at all. I am disappointed that they haven’t grown, as I love growing peppers and especially hot peppers which bear quickly and ferociously and serve you with plenty of fresh pickings. But it is not to be. The egg boxes got totally waterlogged and then got really dry, it was hard to find a happy medium. The seeds had been taken from peppers that may have been refrigerated at sometime too and this is also not conducive to sprouting seeds.

My Tomato Seedling

My one little Tomato seedling that had hatched randomly in a flower pot has been doing well in its new home. The recycled soda bottle has much softer earth which is a combination of Organic potting soils and after a few days of stabilising its root system, it looks stronger and is standing upright. I am careful not to put it in too much direct sunlight and I make sure it gets just enough water to keep it happy. As I am aware of the damage a sudden rain-pour can cause to small seedlings, I keep it under the shelter of the roof overhang or nestled underneath a larger plant.

Tomato Seedling 20 MAR 2014
Tomato Seedling 20 MAR 2014

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Keeping the ‘Green’ in Jamaica

When I was living in the UK, I had the pleasure of working my allotment for three years which included open land, raised beds and a small greenhouse. I won’t say it wasn’t without its trials and tribulations, but the experience was unforgettable. To be working the land, watching as Mother Nature did her thing producing food, with a little care and attention from me was so fulfilling. I ate and shared organically produced vegetables and fruit, and still had plenty to spare.

In the UK we are going full circle and there is a shift towards how we lived years ago when we practised the mantra of ‘Grow What we Eat and Eat What we Grow’. It’s now high fashion to recycle, pursue crafts, Make Do and Mend, keep chickens for eggs and tend vegetable patches, or allotments.  These are all in high demand even in London, where the produce is something to share and warmly boast over with friends. Ironically, I feel that this way of living is the way forward, although it is in fact the way back. Once declining methods, that have been practised for generations and only kept alive in small ‘cottage’ industries, are having their embers stoked to become flourishing with activity again. I believe that it would be beneficial to Jamaican’s, if this way of living was more understood and accepted in Jamaica too.

Grow What You Eat Jamaica

Spending time in Jamaica over the last 7 years I have noticed that very few people have their own vegetable patch, although a fruit tree or two is often present in the yard. This has always occurred to me as something that is strange, as there is so much space, fertile land and more importantly hungry bellies to fill. Even the smallest amount of space can produce a valuable source of organically grown food right on your doorstep, and if done in the right way, there is minimal financial outlay involved. The crops can be planted in containers or raised beds, so that they can harvested as needed and this food source will supplement the diet and the cooking pot.

I appreciate that there is a wealth of information in the UK that directly relates to the merits of recycling, being sustainable, using alternative farming practises and the health benefits associated with ‘going organic’, but that isn’t necessarily widely available in Jamaica. Which is probably why many of these industries are in a developmental stage at the moment and some people burn or throw away plastic and other trash and heavily use chemicals in the production of their crops. In a country where rubbish collection isn’t available island-wide and the marketing of fertilisers and chemicals for the production of food crops is a financial empire, it will take a lot of public awareness campaigns to change this long-held way of thinking in Jamaican lifestyles and farming.

With all these factors in mind I have long been telling friends in the country who farmed about the benefits of farming in a sustainable and organic way, without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers. Instead using water harvesting techniques, composting and crop rotation as a way to produce bumper crops, inhibit bugs and disease and even create energy. I feel it is the only feasible way forward in the future with the state of the Environment and we all should be pushing the idea to others if we have knowledge to share.

Often when I am researching I find that one discovery leads to another and I have found that there are many other concepts and techniques within these genres that are interesting and I feel they could play a part in the recovery of Jamaica. Sustainability, Recycling, Climate Change, Organic Farming and Environmental awareness is the theme and I will be going on a journey of discovery and invite you to come with me…

Jamaica’s Green Industries

First stop Jamaica! I am really pleased to find  a burgeoning ‘Green’ industry growing in Jamaica covering many genres. With this in mind in future posts I will be introducing some of the companies and people involved in these industries, alongside some of the creative ideas and concepts I have come across that could be used in Jamaica. Everything is with the aim of keeping Jamaica beautiful, whilst using its natural resources wisely, recycling, living and building sustainably and producing organic non-genetically modified (GM) food.

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Eat What You Grow – Jamaica Part 2

After sharing my Container Garden this week where I have planted things I love to eat, this post will introduce you to the rest of the edible plants and trees that I am growing on my veranda. As I mentioned before I long to have a piece of land that I can plant up with raised beds and fruit trees using Permaculture techniques. This will keep me well stocked up in organically grown produce. With this plan of having a Food Forest I planted up some fruit tree seeds, as well as some young suckers that I have been gifted from here and there. I figured that as they take years to reach maturity I could grow them in pots until I am ready to plant them out when I move.

Why not give it a try yourself? A container garden is easy to manage and is fun to look after as well as a readily available source of healthy food. Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow… It’s simple really!

My Avocado Pear Tree

I am especially proud of this Pear, or Avocado Pear sapling, as I have grown it from seed. After enjoying an especially tasty Pear I decided to try my luck and dropped the seed into the bottom of an old 2.5 litre bucket with some common dirt inside. A couple of rescued Almond suckers had recently been put in the bucket too and were trying to put on roots. After almost forgetting about the Pear seed, I noticed a thick dark brown shoot pushing through the dirt, with two tiny leaves. It got to be about 6″ high and the leaves were getting much larger in size and the shoot was as thick as my smallest finger.  Under the shade of the Almond suckers this little shoot grew really tall, really fast. It formed about 6 large leaves and the top had reached right under the tallest Almond sucker, and was so tall the leaves were permanently held downwards.

I decided to re-pot it and hoping for the best I carefully turned the bucket with the three saplings upside down, whilst supporting the stems. I prised the tough dirt apart with a little water and slowly released the roots of each sapling. A plastic 10″ pot was the Pear’s new home and after a day the beautiful large leaves were raised skywards and it continued to thrive putting on new leaves. I decided to pinch out the new leaves that were forming in the middle after it had settled down in the pot in the hope it would make it more bushy and control the height. I check the Pear every day and make sure there are no bugs lurking around that can eat it, as I don’t intend to use chemicals in the growth. I noticed some of the leaves were turning brown, but after researching online I discovered that this was most likely caused to the soil being too wet, so I have laid off the watering! I Love it!

Pear (Avocado) Planted Oct 2013
Pear (Avocado) Planted Oct 2013

My Stringy Mango

There are many types of Mango in Jamaica and everyone has their favourite variety. If I am honest my favourite Mango that I have tasted is the East Indian Mango, which is a large Mango with succulent sweet flesh and a tempting aroma. However, I have not been lucky enough to grow or acquire one yet, but I have three little Stringy Mango suckers. Stringy Mangoes are sometimes overlooked as their stringy flesh has a tendency to get stuck between the teeth when eating it. But, the flesh is still delicious and sweet and although they produce a small stringy fruit, you will still be prising the last of it from the seed and flossing afterwards.

These suckers took a few weeks to settle down as the roots were really small when I got them and they started off in common dirt in a recycled bucket. After about 2 months,  one of them still looks a bit poorly but the other two are now  putting on new leaves, I plan to plant them out in 10″ pots with some compost when I spurge again at the farm store.

Stringy Mango Suckers
Stringy Mango Suckers

My Baby Guinep Trees

To be honest I didn’t realise these were Guinep when I got them, as they were growing in sand on the beach. I just thought the leaves looked pretty and they would make a nice addition to my container garden. It has now been verified by a few Jamaican’s living nearby that they are indeed Guinep and I feel a little guilty for planting them up in soda bottles where they cannot properly spread their roots. They are doing much better now that I mixed in a little compost with the common dirt and they are putting on new leaves too. These are also on my wish list for bigger pots, although I have a feeling that the Tomato and Cucumber seedlings might get there first! Guinep is a delicious fruit, and forms like a Lychee, although the fruit is a beautiful orangey colour and tastes and looks much better. Yum!

Guinep Seedlings
Guinep Seedlings

Mint

I am not sure of the variety, but when seeped the leaves make an excellent Mint tea to clear the chest, cleanse the palate and settle the stomach. This little Mint cutting was made up of a small wisened root-stock with two woody wispy strands that were about 2  foot long. To make it more bushy I set about cutting back the strands to just above the lowest budding leaves, so that they formed two upright sticks for the new shoots to wrap around. This has made the whole plant form new stems and leaves that are fresh and not so woody. I am looking forward to it spreading so that I can harvest it, although again I think a bitter pot with better soil is on order.

Mint Bush
Mint Bush

Thyme

If there was ever a herb that was used in Jamaica, it would have to be Thyme. Used daily in nearly every recipe I can think of this herb is synonymous with Jamaican cuisine and is a must have in my kitchen too. As I didn’t want to wait for it to grow from seed, I just bought a large bundle of thyme in the market and made sure that it had a good root-stock attached to it. Bringing it home I planted it up straight away into a 10″ pot with some dead leaves in the bottom and potting compost on top, before liberally watering it. I will keep an eye on it for the next few days to check the soil is not too wet or dry to make sure the roots take sufficiently for it to prosper. Do not try and plant Thyme that has been in the fridge as this will impede the growth.

Thyme Grow from Cuttings
Thyme Grow from Cuttings

Tomato

I found this little Tomato seedling growing randomly in one of the flower pots. We have been known to put seeds in the tops of  the flower pots to see what hatches as I guess this was one of them! As it was growing right at the side of the pot in tough common dirt I decided to carefully prise it out and re-pot in a recycled soda bottle with some potting compost. It looks much better now, but it is early days and I had to rescue it the other night in a downpour as I didn’t want it to get flooded out or damaged by the heavy rainfall.

Re-Potted Tomato Seedling
Re-Potted Tomato Seedling

Basil

This recycled tin had holes punched around the bottom and was filled with potting soil before having Basil seeds scattered all over it. Two weeks later the little seedlings are growing and steadily filling the surface of the tin. There has been a few near mishaps with this Basil and I am pleased to see with some love and attention it is pulling through. Ants tried to take over the tin and I had to flood them (and nearly the Basil) out and a few times I have to run outside and move it under cover when there has been heavy rainfall in the evening. Basil is used in a lot of Italian cooking and I love eating it with cheese and crackers, pear (avocado) Tomato and a splash of Olive Oil, in salads, with pizza and cheese on toast, with pasta dishes. I am hoping to make some pesto sauce when I have a good stock and can find a local alternative to Pine Nuts. Delicious.

Basil grown from seeds
Basil grown from seeds

 

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Get In Touch!

What fruit trees are you growing, or what else are you planting in Containers? Can you give me any other ideas of what to plant, or other ways of using the produce?  Get in touch and share you experiences, we would love to hear from you!

‘Recycle Now Jamaica’

‘Recycle Now Jamaica’

I was so happy to find about the ‘Recycle Now Jamaica’ project that was launched on the 12th February 2014, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston. The team behind the recycling initiative aim to tackle the problem of the plastic bottles that are clogging up drains or being burnt in Jamaica. The organisation will be managed by a Board of Directors made up of the Government, through the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) and private sector representatives. I really respect the fact that a lot of the big players in Jamaica are being responsible and are getting involved in this project, which will help to tackle the problem caused by how to manage their empty and discarded vessels. This group include, the Wisynco Group, Pepsi- Cola Jamaica, GraceKennedy Foods and Services, Jamaica Beverages, Lasco, Trade Winds Citrus, and Seprod.

The three year plan will see more than $300 million being invested in the project and is expected to create a minimum of 300 jobs for local Jamaicans. This investment means that for the next three years the Government is investing $50 million (per annum) and the private sector is investing $23.75 million (per annum) into the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle recycling project. This may seem a lot of money, but there is a growing demand for the sale of recycled PET bottles worldwide. What was once considered ‘waste’ and if often an eyesore across the island, can be utilised as a valuable commodity with economic benefits for Jamaica and help save the environment at the same time.

How Will the ‘Recycle Now Jamaica’ Project Work?

The Government investment will also extend to the construction of four satellite depots placed in strategic locations across the island which will facilitate the collection of the PET bottles.  A team of certified JEEP collectors will be paid on a weight basis (of the plastic bottles) to take the reclaimed PET waste to the depots.

These bottles will be transported to the Consolidation and Logistics Hub which will be paid for by the private investors involved in the project. The Hub will be include a baling line, storage facility for finished products as well as office space and will primarily be used to super compact and consolidate the recycled PET bottles.

What is the Aim of the ‘Recycle Now Jamaica’ Project?

The primary objective of Recycle Now Jamaica is to reclaim 35 per cent of PET bottles placed on the market over the first three years of operation. In the first year it is expected that 15% of the bottles will be processed, which will mean around 4 million bottles will be collected and processed between the four depots each day. To reach this aim there will be a national public awareness campaign to introduce Jamaicans to the idea of recycling and generate interest in the project. A special campaign intended for school children will be rolled out to get the message across the next generation, who will be benefitting from this responsible project in the future.

Why ‘Recycle Now Jamaica’?

Recycling is good for the environment. By taking care of the environment we can ensure that Jamaica remains beautiful and be-fitting of the moniker ‘The land of Wood and Water’ for generations to come. The development of the country and the increasing population creates greater demands on Jamaica’s natural resources and if not managed properly it will continue to damage the delicate eco-system.

By recycling waste that takes years to decompose in landfill, we can help to conserve energy, natural resources and raw materials in Jamaica. To simply throw valuable materials into the ground, or burn it in open heaps, is not only careless and wasteful it also helps to emit dangerous greenhouse gases, like Methane into the atmosphere. Plastic bottles block drains and gulley’s and cause flooding, are a threat to wildlife and cannot decompose at the bottom of the sea bed. It is significantly cheaper to process recycling then sending waste to landfill (the dump) and in most cases can generate an income as it is resold to be used in a secondary life.

Join in and do your bit. Because we All Love Jamaica.

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Grow What You Eat in Jamaica Part One

With every passing year in Jamaica I always plan to grow a few vegetables so that I can enjoy fresh pickings when I want them and be in control of how many chemicals have been used in their growth cycle. Plus, I am a huge fan of farming for myself, the whole ‘Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow’ Campaign really appeals to me. However, these plans have been pretty ‘fruitless’ (if you’ll excuse the pun) so far and I haven’t grown or harvested a thing. When I moved into a new apartment with a small veranda and tiny front lawn I decided to start with some flowers, including some ferns and palms which I grew in containers. When these started to catch in the collection of recycled soda bottles, tin cans and old paint buckets, I bought some plastic flower pots to use for the bigger plants. Coupled with a bag or two of compost and potting soil I went about potting-up some more plant cuttings that I got from here and there, before I knew it I had a handsome collection filling up the front of the veranda.

Introduction to Organic and Sustainable Farming

As I have aspirations of having a ‘permaculture’ garden and a ‘Food Forest’ when I have my own piece of land, I thought about fruits I like to eat too. So I tried my luck with a few fruit tree seeds, with the plan of planting them in the ground when I am living somewhere more permanent. Orange pips were planted in baked beans cans, Ackee seeds in a 2 litre soda bottle and a Pear (Avocado) seed was dropped in the bottom of a bucket housing 2 small Almond tree suckers. All these seeds were taken from fruits that I had eaten with no other preparations made in their planting except pushing them into the dirt and watering them frequently. I have been fortunate in that all of these seeds have caught and are growing very well, the Pear (Avocado) tree is particularly beautiful and is growing at a rate of knots. A couple of Stringy Mango, Guinep and Mint suckers completed the collection on the veranda. I plan to grow all my crops and trees without the use of chemical pesticides and enhancements, only using organic fertilisers.

When researching online I found some information stating that when a tree is not grown from a commercially produced seed, or grafted root stock, that the fruit the tree will later bear will sometimes be inferior in taste to the fruit that it has come from. However, I feel that in the natural environment seeds will germinate and grow from fallen fruit and if left will grow into leafy green food havens. Therefore, I can only hope that my trees will have excellent tasting fruits when the time comes for it to bear fruits and if not, it was a fun and valuable lesson watching them grow in the meantime.

With the excitement of my (literally) growing collection of plants and young fruit tree saplings, the thoughts of growing vegetables crossed my mind again. However the veranda space was limited and the dirt under the ‘lawn’ (a few scraps of grass here and there) was definitely not suitable for growing crops. I thought back to my allotment in London that had kept me (and many others) over flowing with fresh, organically grown crops the three years prior to me moving to Jamaica.  The pangs to grow things again, no matter how limited the space came back to me as one of my neighbours who was emigrating gifted me a large concrete trough shaped planter.

Introduction to Container Gardening

The gifted planter became the first container that I filled with potting soil, I planted neat rows of Garden Peas at one end, with Cucumber seeds in the middle, French / String beans at the other end, with a small section in the front that I placed a few Tomato seeds. I planned to see how everything got on before planting out the Tomato and perhaps the Cucumber, once it had grown to a size. The planter will eventually need to have a trellis fitted for the vines to grow up and I also plan to backfill it with more soil. The finished soil level will reach about an inch or two below the rim of the planter, giving the beans and peas more space to stretch their roots and grow. After one week of sowing the seeds they have successfully hatched and are growing beautifully.

Spurred on by this success, I collected together every container I could find, empty soda bottles large and small, plant pots, egg boxes and a large 15 litre container that was once filled with cooking oil. I placed them in water with a mild soap solution and rinsed out the bottles and caps, before allowing them to dry naturally. I then set about cutting the vessels to make containers in which to plant seeds in and added plenty of drainage holes bored into the bottom. After the vessels where cut to shape I filled the bottom with some dead leaves and then set about filling them up with the potting soil and planted the seeds in a controlled manner. Beetroot was planted in the 15 litre oil bottle, Okra in the 10” plant pot, two different types of Lettuce, one in each of the 2 litre soda bottles, Pepper in the egg boxes, and Tomato in the small soda bottles. The peppers will be a bit of a lucky dip, as I saved some seeds from both hot and sweet peppers and they got mixed up when drying out before planting out! After I planted the seeds I gave them a light watering and sprinkled dried crushed egg shells all over the soil. The egg shell not only is a natural way to deter slugs and snails it also breaks down into the soil and adds nutrients.

Recycling Plastic Soda Bottles

If you have plastic soda bottles you can recycle them to make self-watering pots. Cut off the top of the bottle just above the label to make a ‘cone’ shape. Make some holes, or cut ‘X’s’ around the side and the cap, to allow drainage of the soil. Turn the cone upside down and push it into the bottom of the bottle; if it is tight you can cut some extra 1” deep slashes from the edge of the rim to allow the cone some ‘give’ when being pushed into the bottle. Fill with potting soil and gently push in one or two seeds at the most in the smaller bottles.

A larger 1.5, 2 or 3 litre soda bottle can be recycled into a container garden in a different way. Lay the bottle on its side and carefully cut out a rectangle shape on the side of the bottle, do not cut away the bottle neck or bottle base area. Turn the bottle over and carefully make some drainage holes in the base. Fill with potting soil and gently push in some Lettuce, or Pak Choy seeds; when full grown the bottle will not hold more than one large Lettuce head, or two to three Pak Choy. Thinning’s can be eaten as they grow leaving the strongest one(s) to mature to a full head.

Think about what you are going to grow in the container before cutting it to shape, as some crops are better suited to deep containers whilst over work well in shallow wide containers. You will be surprised at what can grow in a limited space, so get inventive and recycle everything you can to use in your container garden.

Recycling other Containers

In most circumstance, you can safely recycle any vessel that has been used to hold food to grow crops. These containers will be made of some kind of ‘food grade’ plastic, metal or other material, which will not ‘leech’ into the soil and the crops grown within.

‘Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow’

Each week I will write up another post to update the growth (or not) of my seeds, hopefully by the time I write next week there will be some seedlings hatching. I will also explore other methods of container growing including some interesting vertical planting systems that I have seen online. I really hope that this venture into container farming will be productive for me. Not only in terms of providing a fresh and readily available food source, but also in terms of showing a few established and bemused local farmers what you can produced by integrating these unusual farming practices!

Oxford Dictionary (online) Definition

of three of my favourite words used in this Post:

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Recycle

Line breaks: re|cycle

verb

[with object]

1)      Convert (waste) into reusable material:

car hulks were recycled into new steel (as noun recycling)

a call for the recycling of all paper

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Permaculture

Line breaks: perma|cul¦ture

noun

[mass noun]

  • The      development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and      self-sufficient: his forest garden is one of Britain’s best models of      permaculture

Origin: 1970s: blend of permanent and agriculture.

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Organic

Line breaks: or|gan¦ic

noun

(usually organics)

1)      A food produced by organic farming

adjective

1)      Relating to or derived from living matter: organic soils

2)       (Of food or farming methods) produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals: organic farming, organic meat

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Walk Good, Jules

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Keep the Conversation Going….

What do you think about the Grow What You Eat,  Eat What You Grow Campaign? What are you growing? Join the Comments Below….

Sea Turtles Hatching on the Beach in Jamaica

Sometimes you have an amazing experience that makes you feel alright with the world and that money cannot buy. Jamaica gave me one of those truly feel good moments recently when I saw gorgeous Baby Sea Turtles hatching on the beach….

Mother Nature is amazing and I un-expectantly got a taster when I was at the beach recently on the North Coast of Jamaica (for the purposes of protecting the Mother Turtles secret, I will keep the name of the beach between the Sea Turtles and I!). After spending a few hours at the beach we were swimming when slight dew rain started falling and there was lightning flashes out to sea. We were considering coming out of the water, but the rain stopped so we decided to stay where we were. We noticed a crowd of people were forming into a circle on the beach, with everyone staring at the sand. After a couple of minutes of wondering what was going on, it became apparent that there were Sea Turtles hatching on the beach!

Many of the locals believed that the lightning had made them hatch and they were carefully picking up the turtles and putting them in the sea. I have to say they are one of the cutest things I have ever seen. They have the biggest doe eyes and squirm about with real intent to get into the deep-sea and away from predators on the land and in the shallows. I have to admit for a nano-second I really, really wanted to keep one and raise it, but I soon decided this would be cruel and purely for selfish reasons and would not be in the best interest of the little Sea Turtle.

Needless to say I quickly took a few photographs before I swam out really far into the sea with three Sea Turtles. I then said a little prayer for them and wished them a long and happy life! The first two ducked their heads under the water and swam about a metre (about 3.3 foot) before popping up their heads for a gulp of air, before doing the same again until they were so far away I could no longer see them. The last one stuck around for a while longer, whilst I trod water in the deep-sea it stopped for a while and just looked at me with its beautiful big eyes for about a minute or so, before swimming off itself. Again I watched at it swam out into the deep, smiling to myself at the magical experience Jamaica had given me.

Please do not touch, take or harm Sea Turtles if you see them. No Sea Turtles were harmed in the making of this post!

 

If you want more information on Sea Turtles or want to Support the Sea Turtle Conservation Project in Jamaica then contact JET – Jamaica Environmental Trust. http://www.jamentrust.org/conservation/jamaica-sea-turtle-project.html

The Jamaica Environment Trust is a non-profit, non-governmental membership organization operating in the island of Jamaica. We were formed in 1991 and our main focus is environmental education and advocacy.

 

Bugs… I found a cool Beetle in Jamaica

 

[text_justify]Not a fan of insects? This beetle I found in Jamaica caught my eye as it was such a cool bug, but what is it?[/text_justify]

 

May is ‘Bug Month’ in Jamaica

 

[text_justify]After finding all kinds of bugs in my apartment in a matter of hours, my Jamaican friend commented in a knowing way that May is ‘Bug Month’ in Jamaica… Great, I have lived through many things but can I manage a whole month of bugs, insects and beetles?

I have a confession to make, after watching the animated movie ‘A Bugs Life’ I will never be able to look at bugs in the same way again (as long as we aren’t talking about cockroaches or slugs). The film cleverly depicts bugs with big characters and personalities, so when I see them now I always think about their daily escapades in the big wide world and think twice about killing them.

With this in mind I was especially intrigued to see this strange looking bug in my apartment today and thought it looked pretty cool. I don’t recall ever seeing one before, but as far as bugs go it was quite beautiful on closer inspection!  My Jamaican friend couldn’t remember the name of it, but they did comment that it left a horrible scent if it walked on you, so although I wanted to rescue it back outdoors I didn’t want it to touch me. Grabbing a small punched tin tea light holder I scooped it up and took it outside, but the more I looked at it, the more I loved the ‘design’ of the bug.

 

 

The ‘unidentified’ bug was a fantastic shape and appeared to mimic a leaf, maybe as a means of camouflage. It was mottled green on its back, with bright lime and purple coloured lines around the edges of the tough wing case and the translucent wing tips were visible and neatly folded over one another underneath. The head had two curious looking ‘horns’ that looked like the ‘stem’ of a leaf… another camouflage technique?  When I looked at the photographs up close I realised that it looked as if it had four eyes, two of which were large and grey in colour and on the sides of the long face, with two smaller black eyes nearer to the back of the ‘face’.

If anyone knows the local name of the bug please let me know…[/text_justify]

 

Hurricane Sandy Hits Sweet Jamaica

On Tuesday night we went to bed with the wind howling and the rain lashing down and woke in the morning to more of the same, but we had no power. With only the radio on our mobile phone to get information about the storm, we listened keenly to the news bulletins and heard that Tropical Storm Sandy had turned into a Category One Hurricane.

The opinion was that it was going to hit Jamaica’s South coast on Wednesday 24th October 2012, travelling through the country and leaving on the northern coast near to Ocho Rios. Schools and airports have been closed and many areas were on curfew until Thursday evening. Wondering what was happening and if it was likely that my roof would be torn off, I rang my sister in the UK and asked her to find out what was happening! Luckily she was able to look online and kept me posted long into the night about what was going on (God Bless You Emma!). Hurricane Sandy made landfall and hit Kingston in the evening at speeds of 80mph /  125kph and rushed over the eastern side of the country. My sister even let me know when the worst was over as Hurricane Sandy had left Jamaica and was picking up speed towards Cuba.

[text_left]JPS lose Power[/text_left]

It hasn’t been easy the last few days as like 70% of the country we have no power, so that means, no light, no phone, no internet, no cooking – as I have an electric oven and no fridge or freezer, so most of the fresh food you have stored spoils in front of your eyes….

By the time Wednesday night came I wanted something hot in my belly and came up with an ingenious way of making a cup of tea using a punched metal tea light holder as a stand, on which I placed an enamel mug filled with water. It took about 30 minutes for the water to be hot enough to draw tea, but I can tell once the condensed milk went in and I tasted that first mouthful, it tasted like the best cup of tea ever!

Incidently we finally got power back yesterday (29th October 2012).

Night time Hurricane Sandy Jamaica
Night time Hurricane Sandy Jamaica

[text_left]Major Towns on Lock Down as Police Impose Curfew[/text_left]

Most of the island affected by the Hurricane are on curfew as the police try to prevent looting of business places until power has been restored. We would have been dead for hunger if it wasn’t for the bread, crackers, tuna fish and Vienna sausages in the cupboard which barely lasted us until the curfew was temporarily lifted in the evening on 25th October 2012 and we could leave the house to seek hot food in the town, where the larger stores or those lucky enough to have a generator are trading. The town was eerily scanty with hardly anything open and only a few people milling about which was unusual for Ochi.

All the larger chain food stores were open and taking in a tidy trade as locals seeped into the early evening and darkness of the night looking for something hot to eat and somewhere where the light worked.

The large supermarkets took advantage of the trade as people came into town to stock up on dry goods and candles. The small and medium-sized businesses either get by with a few random lightbulbs to guide customers and an increase of staff to keep a check on thefts, or they simply take orders from the door and retrieve the required items themselves.

As night started to come down some people seemed fearful of walking home alone and waited in the fast food chains for relatives to meet them to accompany them home. We decided as we had a 15 minute walk we too should make our way back home and started to walk up the dark main road stepping over debris and trying to avoid large puddles in the darkness.

We heard that the curfew was to be extended as the main grid was down and the police presence on the road was easy to see as night came down. When we got back home we actually sat outside for quite a while as it was a clear bright night with lots of moonshine and it was definitely brighter than the candle light we depended on indoors.

[text_left]Heading to the Hills[/text_left]

By Friday we had enough of staying along the coast and decided to travel into the countryside of St.Ann to stay with friends for a few days. After walking into town we saw the fast food restaurants full up and long lines of people waiting to use the ATM machines at the 2 main banks, as the stand alone cash dispensers still weren’t working. The police were in force again and we noticed the numerous Guardsman trucks with their armed guards that seemed to be working overtime, as they frequently stop and jump out of their truck, diligently surveying the vicinity as they collect money from business places.

As we drove along the main road we noticed men working on the power lines that were on the ground near to Dunn’s River, but there was no sign of any of the street lights working.

We saw pockets of power along the road towards Runaway Bay, although it was mainly dark and lonely looking on the streets. As we turned off at Runaway Bay and into the interior of the country we didn’t see any street lights working and most of the houses were in darkness, it didn’t seem to slow down the bus though as it tore down the roads at the usual breakneck speed!

A few business places were open along the way and were reasonably full as residents came out to socialise and get out of the house for a while. Many people I spoke to in the countryside of St.Ann had commented that they had lost banana and plantain trees, yam canes had been blown down and other delicate crops had been damaged by Hurricane Sandy. I heard of one person whose roof had been torn off and house had suffered extensive damage in the storm and I offered them what help I could.

The hills of St.Ann were in darkness and just one house and one bar had power where I was staying, whereby everyone nearby would come and ask to charge their phone.

Hurricane Sandy Ocho Rios Jamaica
Hurricane Sandy Ocho Rios Jamaica

[text_left]Back to Town… Power Is Back…[/text_left]

After staying the weekend it was impossible to get a taxi down to the next big town on Sunday as many people weren’t working and I had to wait until early evening on Monday before I could leave out to head back for the coast. We had heard that power had been restored in Browns Town, Alexandria (Charlton) and St. Dacre and we saw a JPS (Jamaica Public Service Company – Jamaica’s sole power supplier) truck come up to Grants Mountain on Monday before we left, but still no power in the hills.

By the time we reached Ocho Rios in the early evening it looked as if power had been restored to the town centre and we headed out of town we were pleased to see that JPS had restored power in our residential area.

Unfortunately I had to throw away nearly all the fresh food as the power had been off for 6 days by the time I managed to get home. But at least I could cook, have cold drinks to enjoy and use the light, charge my BB and use the internet!

[text_left]God Bless Portland, St. Mary and St.Thomas[/text_left]

Although I had heard that most of the worst damage was felt in Portland, St. Mary and St.Thomas, it was only on looking on the internet today that I realised the full extent of the damage in Jamaica and felt so grateful for just losing power and a few fresh goods in the past week.

One man lost his life and I saw pictures where people lost their houses and were standing in the shell of their home looking at what could be saved. Many trees fell down and power lines were ripped from the ground leaving residents without power up to now.

[text_left]Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller Response[/text_left]

The  Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced on Tuesday that 71 houses have been found totally destroyed and 348 were severely damaged in eastern parishes raked by the hurricane; she is determined to fast track the building legislation to prevent houses being built in unsafe areas again. Heavy damage to livestock, peppers, coconuts, bananas, and the island’s Blue Mountain coffee, has also been felt with early estimates of the financial aftermath of the Hurricane coming in at least $16.5 million.

The Jamaican prime minister states has there have been pledges of support for storm recovery from Germany, Japan, France, Trinidad & Tobago and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Jamaica is also trying to forge a new agreement with the International Monetary Fund and went on to say:

“Even before the hurricane we faced serious economic challenges. This has been made worse by the passage of Hurricane Sandy,” Simpson Miller said.

 

My heart goes out to those affected by Hurricane Sandy and I hope that power is restored soon to the island to help bring back some semblance of normality and so that people may go back to work. May family, friends and neighbours come together to help one another at this time of need.

[text_left]Charity Efforts[/text_left]

YB Afraid Foundation – The first charity efforts in the Portland region was by Yohan Blake’s YB Afraid Foundation working alongside Food For the Poor whereby they distributed supplies to about 700 striken residents.

Digicel – I also have to say a big up to Digicel as they kept their promise and enabled those in Jamaica to keep in touch with friends and relatives both in Jamaica and a foreign throughout the whole week by keeping the phone system working. They have also been giving emergency supplies packages to about 3000 residents in the Manchioneal and Annotto Bay area after making an aerial assessment of the worst affected areas of the island. A representative stated:

“In times of natural disasters I think it is important that we move quickly to help the most vulnerable in our communities, and today thousands came out and collected relief packs in the Manchioneal and Annotto Bay area today. We toured sections of the most affected communities yesterday and decided that we were not going to wait to help. And so we partnered with ODPEM and the Salvation Army to swiftly undertake this relief effort today,”

he went on to say:

“the need is great out here. With no electricity in most areas in Portland and St. Mary, some persons haven’t gone back out to work as yet and so these rural communities are really in need. That is why Digicel decided to undertake this relief effort by not only providing charging stations in various areas but also basic food items to assist with day to day living.”shared Digicel Jamaica CEO Andy Thorburn.

Jamaica National Building Society – has slashed it remittance fees by 50% as part of their efforts to help in the national recovery programme after the passage of Hurricane Sandy. The offer extended to Jamaicans in the Diaspora remitting funds to local relatives and friends. The discount is aimed at facilitating the response to relatives and friends, particularly persons in the parishes of St Thomas, Portland and St Mary, who were significantly affected by Sandy.

Tropical Storm Sandy approaches Jamaica

Tropical Storm Sandy made contact with Jamaica, as the rain and wind lashed the island it soon turned into Hurricane Sandy, this is how it began…

Hurricane Warning issued for Jamaica

On Tuesday morning Jamaica was on Hurricane Warning as the country awaits the arrival of Tropical Storm Sandy, which is expected to hit the southern coast on Wednesday (see image above) morning. The U.S. National Hurricane Center predicts will reach hurricane category One (1) status, on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity, with winds topping out at 80 mph (128 km).

The centre of the storm was about 260 miles (420 km) south-southwest of Kingston, the Jamaican capital, on Tuesday evening and reached top winds of 50 miles per hour (85 kph). The ‘eye’ of the storm is predicted to hit the capital before moving across the country up to the popular tourist resort of Ocho Rios dumping as much as 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm) of rain across parts of Jamaica.

Where I am staying near to Ocho Rios the rain has fallen very heavily since this morning, except for short intermittent times where there is a lull and it falls lightly. On the other hand I have heard that apart from a small amount of rainfall this morning Montego Bay was dry for the rest of the day and into the early evening.

There hasn’t been a direct hit from the ‘eye’ of a hurricane since Hurricane Gilbert which caused considerable damage across the island in 1988 and many islanders are stocking up on food and re-enforcing roofing and other unstable areas of their homes and properties in preparation, as the acting Prime Minister Peter Phillips says that

“all Jamaicans should take the threat of this hurricane seriously”

The Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has cut short a 5 day visit to Canada to return to the island as authorities in Jamaica are jumping to prepare for the arrival of the hurricane.

Ministry of Education

Under recommendation from The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) the Ministry of Education has decided that schools should be closed on Wednesday and will be re-opened once it is deemed safe to do so. Many schools have been listed as disaster relief centres and have officals been advised to put away all important and expensive educational materials. The education ministry has instructed all schools to activate their emergency plans immediately.

Jamaican Airports on Lock Down

All flights from Norman Manley International Airport, Kingston have been cancelled from 10.00pm on Tuesday night when the last flight leaves Jamaica; this closure will be in effect until the storm passes.  Travellers have been advised to contact their travel operator for more details, the website has updated information: http://www.nmia.aero/news_events

Sangster International airport, Montego Bay has halted all flights from 8.00am on Wednesday, until the storm has passed over the island. Travellers have been advised to contact their travel operator for more details, or check out the website for more details: http://www.mbjairport.com

Tropical Sandy Graphic
Tropical Sandy Graphic

Curfew Orders in Place

Minister of National Security Peter Bunting has issued curfew orders for selected areas effective from 6 p.m. Tuesday; the curfew orders would stay in effect until Thursday  morning and would be enforced by members of the Police Force and Military. Only persons who work in the emergency services, those who deliver newspapers and late night workers will be allowed access in and out of the areas under curfew if they are in possession of proper identification. The curfew has been put in place in order to curtail the looting that has been known to be carried out during these types of circumstances.

The affected areas for the curfew are:

Area One 
. Montego Bay
. Lucea
. Savanna-la-Mar
. Falmouth
. Duncans
. Clarkes Town
. Wakesfield
. Albert Town
. Grange Hill
. Darliston
. White House
. Hopewell
. Sandy Bay
. Green Island

Area Two 
. Ocho Rios
. Port Antonio
. Port Maria
. St. Anns Bay
. Brown’s Town
. Annotto Bay
. Highgate
. Gayle
. Buff Bay
. Oracabessa

Area Three
. Mandeville
. May Pen
. Chapelton
. Lionel Town
. Frankfield
. Crofts Hill
. Christiana
. Spalding
. Porus
. Santa Cruz
. Black River
. Junction
. Balaclava
. New Market

Area Four
. Downtown Kingston
. New Kingston
. Half Way Tree
. Industrial Estate
. Winward Road
. Rockfort
. Rollington Town
. Vineyard Town
. Franklyn Town
. Mountain View
. Harbour View
. Port Royal
. Bull Bay
. Cross Roads
. Papine
. Liguanea
. Three Miles

Area Five
. Spanish Town
. Portmore
. Linstead
. Spanish Town
. Morant Bay
. Constant Spring
. Old Harbour
. Stony Hill
. Bog Walk
. Yallahs
. Seaforth
. Port Antonio
. Port Morant
. Bath
. Golden Grove
. Red Hills
. Barbican
. Golden Spring
. Lawrence Tavern

Evacuation Orders

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has issued mandatory evacuation orders for at-risk communities situated in low-lying areas of the country and those near to the coast or other areas that are prone to hits from hurricanes. Fisherman on the cays have been told to return to the mainland, although there are reports of about 100 fisherman that are stranded, as they do not have enough fuel for the return trip.

150 shelters have been identified across the country which people are being encouraged to move to for their own safety. Many people refuse to leave their homes as they are more concerned about looters coming in and stealing things whilst they are not at home.

Mandatory Evacuation Areas

Kingston and St Andrew

  • Hope River Valley to include Kintyre, Tavern
  • Bull Bay to include Taylor Lands, Weise Road, Cane River Pen and Caribbean Terrace

Clarendon

  • Alley and Portland Cottage

St Catherine

  • Nightingale Grove
  • Sections of Lauriston closer to the Rio Cobre, Thompson Pen, Dam Head, Fairview, St John’s Road, Frazer’s Content and Hellshire Fishing Beach.

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office web page for Jamaica, which gives updated and in-depth information about Jamaica can be found here: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/north-central-america/jamaica

  • There is a Hurricane Warning in place for Jamaica. Tropical Storm Sandy is likely to be at Hurricane strength as it passes over Jamaica on Wednesday 24 October. Tropical Storm force winds are expected to start affecting Jamaica on the evening of Tuesday 23 October. Visitors to Jamaica, or those intending to visit, should monitor media for updates and keep in touch with tour operators or travel service providers. You can find advice on preparing for a hurricane in Jamaica here: http://ukinjamaica.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/travel-advice/how-survive-hurricane
  • The hurricane season in Jamaica normally runs from June to November. You should monitor weather updates.

The website for the U.S. National Hurricane Center for the latest details and diagrams of the progress of the storm can be found at: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at3+shtml/203623.shtml?3day#contents