Concrete road improves farmer’s access to markets

(MANDEVILLE, December 16, 2018) Caribbean Cement Company Limited today hosted a ceremony to mark the opening of 530 metres of concrete road in Litchfield, Manchester.

This new road addresses several social and economic development goals for the district, including better access for farmers to take their goods to market, easier commute for students to schools and shorter distances for residents to other parts of the parish.  The previous road had passed its design life and was in urgent need of rehabilitation.

The project provided men and women from the community with valuable work experience. More than 60 persons have been trained in the proper technique of preparing and laying concrete and in building a concrete road. Seventy-Five persons, as well as micro businesses in the area derived direct and indirect income earning opportunities throughout the project which was completed within five weeks.

Peter Donkersloot, General Manager of Carib Cement said an outstanding feature of the project was the community spirit.

“Carib Cement is really proud to have partnered with a community that has such a great ability to organize and cooperate. You rallied around each other and with Carib Cement to finish this job in good time. Now, we hand it over to you to take care of the roadway; to respect the road code, to promote the safety of all the users.  Walk, Ride, Drive, Cycle with care,” Mr Donkersloot said.

Part of Carib Cement’s goal is for more of Jamaica’s roads to be build or repaired with concrete, which is a more durable and cost-effective material. The Honourable Audley Shaw, Member of Parliament of North East Manchester and Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries said concrete is a sustainable material for developing roads.

“We want to use more of this type of material so that we can have sustainability in our community. I know the farmers have been working hard and I encourage you to continue to do your best. I know the road will make it easier for you…it will also be easier for the children to get to school. We want to keep on improving the roads until the whole community is fixed up properly,” Minister Shaw said.

Litchfield is located within the Mile Gully area of Manchester and is close to Bottom Grove Place and Kraal. The improved road serves as a through road to the communities of Devon, Hibernia, Bethany, Chudleigh, Christiana, Spaulding and Mile Gully. More than 200 hundred homes and 2000 residents live in the area.

Community resident Collin Walters said the new road was a dream come through:  “This is our road and we are very excited about it. But I am imploring drivers to please be very, very, careful. Parents, please tell the children to be aware when they are walking, playing, riding bicycles to be very aware and very careful.”

Completed at a cost of $10.8 million dollars, this development initiative is part of  Carib Cement’s Corporate Responsibility Programme which, since 2016 has invested $265 million in projects, scholarships and training and has reached more than 230,000 Jamaicans.