May 17, 2021

Cayman Islands government completes successful Christmas clean up

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Group at WorkIn wrapping up administrative work around the National Community Enhancement (or NiCE) Project, Government has confirmed that the project was extremely successful and came in under budget.

The NiCE Project was initiated over Christmas and after the holidays to achieve two aims – to provide unemployed Caymanians with temporary employment so that they could have additional funds over the holiday season, and clean up communities, highways and byways before and after Christmas.
While an initial budget of $475,000 for the project was funded through savings in other areas of government, the actual cost of the project was $444,359.

The three-week programme commenced on 7th December, 2015, consisting of two weeks before Christmas and one week after. Seven hundred and fifty two (752) persons registered for the project from all districts. These included 239 from George Town, 240 from West Bay, 53 from North Side, 55 from East End, 108 from Bodden Town and 57 from the Sister Islands.
Work done during the cleanup project included the removal of excessive seaweed from Cayman Islands’ beaches in advance of the tourist season, cleaning cemeteries and land based park areas, collecting debris from roadside verges, cutting and clearing bush, and other work that benefitted the community.

Group“It was conceptualized from the beginning that the Islands needed a facelift before Christmas, and who better to do it than unemployed persons who could use the extra funds to help them at the year’s end,” said Community Affairs Minister Hon. Osbourne Bodden.

Mr Bodden explained: “The question arose as to how we do this in a controlled, transparent manner, and I’m happy to say with the hard work of many civil and public servants and our Government Agencies we pulled this off with flying colors and under budget.”

The Minister went on to say: “This was no mean feat to organize in just three weeks, and kudos must go to Dr. Tasha Ebanks-Garcia of the Employment Ministry, who headed the planning team, and to Mark Bothwell of Public Works Department who supervised the overall works. Many others made this happen, but these two persons went over and beyond to ensure it went smoothly.”

“I would also like to thank the workers who showed up and who got registered with the National Workforce Development Agency to ensure they have a chance at future employment. It is our hope to run this programme at least twice a year from here on,” the Minister concluded.

A registration process at the end of 2015 resulted in the employment of far more persons than anticipated. The operational capacity of each of the three agencies supervising the programme was set at 275 persons per week, bearing in mind the need to provide safe working conditions, minimise risks and offer the level of supervision required for the nature of the work being carried out. Therefore for some persons only a week of work was offered.

Project Manager Mark Bothwell assisted by Brian Chin Yee, National Roads Authority, Mark Rowlands, Departmental of Environmental Health and the Public Works Department deployed the labour force in all districts

Actual numbers employed during the project were 311 in the first week, 322 in the second week and 308 in the third week.

Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson stated that he was very pleased at how effectively all the different agencies of government worked together to complete this project on time and under budget.

Photos: As Provided
1. Some team members from the recent National Community Enhancement programme. While more than 750 persons were employed over three weeks, organisers still managed to achieve more than $30,000 in savings.
2. Recruits from the recent National Community Enhancement programme at work. During the holiday period they were tasked with cleaning up communities, highways and byways around the Island. Managers from the National Roads the Public Works Department, the National Roads Authority and the Department of Environmental Health.

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