Omar Wright, lead, environment, and community development at the JN Foundation, is urging residents of Portmore to join forces to tackle the issue of improper solid waste disposal in the municipality.
“In our pursuit of waste reduction and proper disposal, we hold the key to transforming the environment and uplifting the lives of every resident in Portmore. I firmly believe in the immense power of collective action. When we unite our efforts, we have the capacity to accomplish extraordinary feats,” he said.
Mr Wright made the appeal while addressing the launch of the Portmore, JN Circle chapter, recently. Portmore became the 17th chapter of the JN Circle, a global network of JN members and customers who are empowered by JN to work together to improve their own lives, and the lives of others.
The JN Foundation lead on environment and community emphasized the urgency of addressing improper waste management, highlighting its far-reaching consequences on local environment, economy, and the health and wellbeing of residents, especially those situated near the coast.
In coastal communities, he emphasized that poor waste management practices can lead to devastating outcomes, including the contamination of pristine beaches and marine ecosystems, the depletion of natural resources, and the degradation of tourism industry that sustains local livelihoods. He underscored the alarming health hazards posed by improper waste management, such as the spread of diseases, the release of harmful toxins into the air and water, and the increased vulnerability of community members to respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses.
“Improper waste disposal and the lack of proper collection and transportation systems are the primary causes of this problem. This leads to the accumulation of waste in public places such as streets and beaches, which can be harmful to the environment, marine life, and human health. The community [Portmore] is in dire need of an effective waste management plan that can mitigate these issues and create a cleaner and healthier environment for all,” he explained.
He informed that the Foundation’s waste management initiative was conceptualised a year ago when The Jamaica National Group considered some environmental challenges it could assist to address.
He assured prospective members that The Jamaica National Group is fully committed to supporting the waste management initiative, if taken on board, and will leverage its resources, relationships, expertise, and guidance to ensure its success.
Troy Bygrave, business relationship and sales manager at JN Bank, welcomed the launch of the JN Circle Portmore chapter.
“As Portmore continues to transform and thrive, the need for infrastructural and social support to aid its growth continue to emerge. Therefore, the launch of the JN Circle Portmore chapter is indeed timely, and we believe it will redound to the benefit of Portmore as it will assist with identifying and developing solutions to the municipality’s various challenges, as well as assist to forge the right partnerships for its development,” he said.
Erica Livermore, acting principal of the Sabina Basic School and prospective JN Circle member, said she was happy that JN Circle chapter has been established in Portmore. “It is a good initiative, and I am open to take on the challenge,” she said.
Celia Burnett, member relations supervisor, JN Group, with responsibility for the JN Circle chapters, said there had been numerous requests for a JN Circle chapter to be established in Portmore and that The Jamaica National Group was proud to respond positively to the calls.
She said the JN Circle provides a platform for members to use their voices to create change for themselves and their communities through advocacy, empowerment, and networking. Launched in 2019, the JN Circle has chapters in all parishes and one in the United Kingdom that have been positively impacting the lives of their members.