About 150 residents of Ewarton, St Catherine, and surrounding areas will soon benefit from a greenhouse and water-harvesting project spearheaded by the Ewarton Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) Joint Council and Benevolent Society. Of the 150 residents, 60 percent will be women.
Chairman of the organization, Steven Hamilton, told that the project, which has been on the table since 2017, is now in motion after the manufacturing plant, Windalco, gave the go-ahead to utilize its 10 acres of lands in the area earlier this year.
“It's all because of Windalco's interest in the community that is why this is happening at this point in time. Currently, we are working on a water-harvesting and greenhouse project, at a location called Riverhead, that's in the Ewarton area. This entails 20 greenhouses to start and this will impact 15 different communities in and around the bauxite area, where the Windalco operation is situated,” Hamilton said. The aim of the project is to positively impact as many lives as possible within the area. “For all my life this community has been a dormant community that has not really had any form of new development, or any form of impact for decades,” Hamilton said.
But, while several residents are actively farming for their livelihood, Hamilton said it is not on a large scale.“It is not on a scale that persons are able to see some form of gainful employment because of lack of resources and technology. The type of farming that they see is not really as appealing as it could've been. You can readily see that most of what we have consumed in Jamaica is imported, so we are trying our best to find a way that we can do something for our communities to empower them,” Hamilton said.
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