The National Water Commission (NWC) has embarked on several measures to improve water delivery in the Negril area during the short term, and to develop additional sources within 18 months.This was announced by Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, while addressing hoteliers and other stakeholders at a function held at Breezes Negril, on April 3.The meeting was held by the Minister to outline strategies being employed by the NWC to alleviate the difficulties being experienced by residents and businesses during the drought affecting the island. One of the measures, the Minister said, is that the NWC is aggressively trying to deal with leaks as they are indentified on the system.Mr. Pickersgill said the NWC is also trying to ensure the effective implementation of a schedule, to ensure that all customers receive some water at least every other day for at least eight hours, and that the Commission is already paying $9 million monthly for the trucking of water, from which it recovers no revenue.“A new loading bay has been established along the Sheffield main road, to reduce the time, cost and difficulties involved in the legal trucking of water, and this is to be fully operational later this week,” the Minister informed.“We are appealing to persons not to support the illegal extraction of water from the system, as this practice is only making a bad situation worse. Furthermore, the quality of water delivered in trucks that are not known to have been sterilized, cannot be guaranteed,” he stated.Other measures to improve water supply in the Negril area are the addition of two Rapid Response trucks; and work currently taking place at the Great River Treatment Plant to get the facility to produce its maximum of 15 million gallons per day, to boost the Logwood system.The Minister said for the longer term, work will be done to expand the water production capacity of the Martha Brae Treatment Plant from 6 million gallons per day to 11 million, as part of the process of having more water on the North Coast to distribute westwards. “This project is scheduled to be completed in about 18 months,” he added.Mr. Pickersgill said that surveyors are currently working in the town of Lucea on preparatory works for an improved pipeline network through the town, to allow for water from the Great River Treatment Plant to come as far as Green Island, and for water from the Logwood Treatment Plant to be dedicated to serving Negril.By Garfield Angus, JIS reporter
More than 400 national and international women’s rights groups, including the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), human rights advocates, medical doctors, actors and directors, fashion designers, faith-based organizations and concerned individuals from over 30 countries signed an open letter to Amnesty International expressing their dismay at its policy proposal calling for the decriminalization of the sex industry.If passed at Amnesty’s International Council Meeting in Dublin from Aug. 7–11, this policy would in effect advocate the legalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying — the pillars of a $99 billion global sex industry.Within 24 hours of learning about Amnesty’s proposed policy, scores of Hollywood stars and prominent individuals began to join an international grassroots campaign urging Amnesty to stand with those exploited in the sex trade, who are mostly women, rather than with their exploiters. Among the signatories are Oscar-winning actress, Meryl Streep, chef and activist, Alice Waters, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Anna Quindlen, author, Hannah Pakula, poet and human rights activist, Rose Styron and 2008 Amnesty International Human Rights Award winner, Lydia Cacho. Others include: Angela Bassett, Emily Blunt, Jonathan Demme, Grace Hightower De Niro, Lena Dunham, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Jones, Kevin Kline, Lisa Kudrow, Kyra Sedgwick, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Eve Ensler, Marcia Gay Harden, Carey Mulligan, Ali Wentworth and many more.The response to the open letter issued by CATW was so exceedingly positive that it is now a campaign on Change.org and is open for more signatures.As the letter states, campaigners firmly agree with Amnesty that those who are prostituted must not be criminalized or brutalized by law enforcement and governments. However, full decriminalization of the sex trade renders pimps “businesspeople” who sell vulnerable individuals, overwhelmingly with histories of poverty, discrimination, homelessness and sexual abuse, to buyers of sex with impunity.“I hope and believe that Amnesty will understand the parallels with other forms of economically compelled body invasion — for instance, the sale of organs,” added Gloria Steinem. “The millions who are prostituted experience trauma and shortened lives. Legalization keeps pimps, brothel keepers, and sex-slavers in freedom and riches. Criminalization puts the prostituted in prison. What works is the ‘third way,’ the Nordic model, which offers services and alternatives to prostituted people, and fines buyers and educates them to the realities of the global sex trade.”Extensive evidence shows the catastrophic effects of legalizing or decriminalizing pimping and brothels, demonstrated in Germany and the Netherlands, for example. With impunity for the commercial sexual exploitation of marginalized populations comes an increase in sex trafficking to satisfy the demand for prostitution. Studies and survivors’ testimonies demonstrate that the sex industry is predicated on dehumanization, degradation and gender violence that can cause life-long physical and psychological harm.“A vote calling for legalizing pimping would in effect support gender apartheid, in which some women in society can demand protection from rape, discrimination and sexual harassment, while others, the most vulnerable among us, are instead set aside for consumption by men and for the profit of their pimps,” said Taina Bien-Aimé, CATW’s executive director. “This is far from what Eleanor Roosevelt envisioned for the world when she penned the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”Source:CATWInternational.org
Country Music’s biggest stars have rallied to announce plans for COUNTRY RISING, a benefit concert to support those in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and additional Caribbean islands who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes.The star-studded lineup at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 12 will include performances by Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton, George Strait and Carrie Underwood. Tickets and VIP packages for the event go on Ticketmaster.com.In light of the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas this week, and out of respect for victims, event organisers have postponed the on-sale date originally scheduled for this Friday.Additional artists and more details will be announced over the coming weeks at CountryRising.org.The Nashville music community has also stepped on board to offer services to support, with AEG and Live Nation teaming up as the official show promoters alongside VIP experience experts CID Entertainment, Bridgestone Arena and the Nashville Predators. Country Rising will benefit The Country Rising Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which was established to support charitable initiatives to help victims of the September 2017 hurricanes — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria. In the course of rebuilding lives disrupted by these devastating storms, there are immediate needs and there also will be long-term needs. This fund will strategically support both as they emerge.