(CNS): Government officials have said that the seasonal clean-up project, which was accomplished under budget, resulted in significant improvements to the physical appearance and functionality of dozens of public spaces across the Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac. But as well as the extensive roadside clean-ups, beautification and refurbishment work, the teams also cleared over 30 beach access points that were overgrown and blocked.
Almost 600 people were involved in this year’s National Community Enhancement Project (NiCE), where unemployed locals did three weeks paid work with the Public Works Department (PWD), the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) and the National Roads Authority (NRA).
The PWD Parks, Cemeteries and Beaches Unit, under the management of Mark Bothwell, employed 174 people in five district teams. These groups were tasked principally with sprucing up crown lands, facilities and several overgrown or obscured beach accesses.
The NRA, under the management of Brian Chin Yee, also had 174 workers that focussed on roadside clean-ups and road marking but they also worked with PWD teams on the beach access clearing.
The DEH under the management of Mark Rowlands employed 201 workers at the landfill and dispatch area, as well as assisting with clearing beach accesses. Work undertaken at the islands’ two solid waste facilities, run by the DEH, included painting, landscaping and improving drainage systems.
“Clearing over 32 beach accesses was a particularly satisfying outcome of this project, and addressed something that has been an issue of concern to me for some time now,” said Kurt Tibbetts, the minister with responsibility for PWD and the NRA. He said it was a “successful initiative aimed at enhancing public access to Cayman’s beautiful beaches”.
The project was coordinated by the employment ministry, and Tara Rivers, the minister responsible, said the work assignments were completed on time and to a high standard, which she described as a testament to the hard work of the people who joined the project.
“It also speaks volumes as to the ingenuity of departmental managers and staff who had to co-ordinate the project while maintaining their existing workforces and schedules,” she added.
Programme organisers have compiled costs of the initiative for Cabinet and participants’ performance indicators for the National Workforce Development Agency. At least seven people who signed up will be given three-month contracts to work in the government’s new recycling facility, which may lead to longer term jobs.
District Administration also employed 44 unemployed people on Cayman Brac as part of the project.