Building Roads together to improve lives

Today on Labor Day in the USA and in Canada, people love to fire up their grills, head to the beach, go out camping, or catch up on some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Labor Day in the USA and Canada marks the end of summer and is meant to pay tribute to working men and women.

In Jamaica, Labor Day is held on May 23rd and holds a different meaning. It is still a day where people work hard. A day where people go out together into the streets to volunteer their time and labor for community service projects. Together they build roads, houses, help others in need, and share a meal. It is a day of pride, community development, and solidarity despite a low growth and a high public debt economy. According to Jamaica Information Service, the three main objectives of Labour Day are enhancing the dignity of labour by improving the environment; inspiring the spirit of community development; and encouraging the principle of solidarity by working, building and sharing together. This year on labour day, East Rural ST. Andrew Residents joined forces to patch the most badly deteriorated sections of the Dublin Castle road and other thoroughfares for which Caribbean Cement Company Limited supplied 250 bags of cement. Member of Parliament for the area, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness told JIS News “the projects were wide-ranging and included road repairs in Dublin Castle, Penny Hill, and Top Road”.

Photo by Rudranath Fraser featuring wife of the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness (center), joining residents in preparing a concrete mixture for the patching of roads in Dublin Castle on Labour Day, May 23. 

In unity with the people of Jamaica, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) continues to support the private sector in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. It provided 510M USD over a four-year period to improve the investment climate and to restore confidence in the Jamaican economy.

In Guyana, the IDB, the Government of Guyana, and the Caribbean Development Bank are also funding a road expansion that seeks to improve efficiency and safety of road transportation and bridges for approximately 30.7 kilometers of the West Coast by 2018. The West Coast Demerara Road Improvement Project is 75 percent complete according to Senior Projects Engineer at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Kester Hinds. It includes bridge replacements and repairs, drainage and road safety works, pavement markings and safety barriers along severe curves. A significant portion of the work including final overlaying, construction of road shoulders and grading of pavements for cyclists and pedestrians are being carried out by Jamaican engineering companies.

Also, on road safety, the IDB and the ITF/OECD are working in collaboration to foster a twinning initiative between Jamaica and the UK to facilitate the sharing of best practices in road safety data systems. The twinning aims to provide stakeholders in Jamaica with a source of quality technical advice and assistance for the improvement of crash data systems and the use of data to inform road safety interventions.

Jamaica has embarked on a bold reform program with the help of the IDB. Its reform program is beginning to bear fruit. Economic growth looks set to have accelerated. In 4 years, the country reduced its debt by 16% as of 2016 and the overall real GDP growth is expected to rise by another 1% this year.


About the author

Lynn Saghir is a Communications and Creative Director for the Caribbean at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Before joining the IDB, she worked as a design, communications and marketing specialist at the World Bank and held multiple roles as creative director for leading global graphic design and advertising companies responsible for crafting, developing and conceptualizing big ideas, social media, strategies and pitches for multimillion dollars campaigns and ads. Lynn holds a Bachelor Degree in Graphic Design from the American University of Beirut, an MBA and a Masters in Management from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP). She has created a board game and founded the fashion brand Lylus. She received two Community Management certificates from the World Bank where she was awarded for high quality work, collaboration, commitment, and engagement. Lynn is a mother of 2 wonderful boys, Liam and Ryan. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, skiing, exploring new cultures, and walking by the ocean. Other than her love for adventure, she has a passion for music and movies.



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Show 3 Comments


  • haytiinthenews
    September 7, 2017 Reply

    […] IDB: Together we can build roads, together we can improve lives. […]

  • avatar image
    sally radford
    September 9, 2017 Reply

    the lesser antilles expect britian to prepare everything. As a supporter of many charities I regret destruction in the West Indies. The African Union offer of repatriation to West Indians in their ancestral homelands after the Haiti earthquake is still open so they should evacuate to Commonwealth states such as Ghana, free from hurricanes and earthquakes. RFA Mounts Bay crewed by volunteers is providing hurricane relief to the islands . As a member of a former RAF family, I deplore risk to RAF lives taking aid in a C5 hurricane. Why waste funds to rebuild sandbars, lagoons and beaches, formed by storms, for ungrateful islanders demanding aid from British taxpayers in tax havens rolling in funds from corrupt regimes including Nigeria. CARICOM STATES advertise Citizrenship by Investment in airline magazines. Storms are blamed on climate change which occurs in cycles throughout millenia of earth history. Hurricane technology is easily applied . Drainage, water butts, maintenance of wetlands and bamboo cultivation to conserve river banks are all mitigating. Annual hurricanes bring rain for 6 months, but corrupt CARICOM governments are incompetent and individualistic, lacking priorities, ignoring crime, dependent on EU aid and wasting resources on flag-waving bureaucracy, entertainment, carnival, fashion, vice and bling while seeking reparation from the EU for historic events. Progress and development are stymied by discrimination against foreign investors, entrepreneurs and business, so commerce suffers. Instead of collaborating to develop a regional airline, several airlines struggle to operate. LIAT and CAL should deliver aid, including water manufactured in Trinidad, HQ of CAL. Everything is priced in USD in the airport in Antigua, HQ of LIAT, which refuses to accept currency of Trinidad & Tobago, the cuisine of which is on the menu of airport restaurants. Racial envy is rife. I donated a dinghy to rescue flood victims of storm Bret after the government in Trinidad refused a request from local authorities for a boat. I continue to help one Trinidad family of 7 left homelesss in a swamp infested with caiman and snakes after their 1-room shack was wrecked. .UK aid of £32million is a massive sum for a small population where only 1 died and aid will only benefit the rulers in a region notorious for fraud, subsaharan standards and poor governance. Just over £1m was sent for flood relief in Nepal and Bangladesh and there was no mention of UK aid to India , a major ally, where thousands died. This is obscene. CARICOM is vociferous in calling for reparation for historic woes, empowered by lefties in antifa in USA, fearing statues and plaques while ignoring crimes of their minority communities with knives and guns, dominating sports and entertainment, wasting wealth on vice, driven by racial envy, wrecking cities to create a wasteland and undermine POTUS, as the USA faces existential threats from the murderous DPRK, funded and fuelled by the hegemon PRC/PLA. The fragile islands of the West Indies should be allowed to recover by the forces of nature after the natives leave and all building should be ended to allow geology to continue its work of reparation by wind and water. We must end this madness and use our taxes wisely. Sally Radford PhD, FGS, C.Geol Fellow of The Caribbean Academy of Sciences

    • lynns
      September 16, 2017 Reply

      Thank you for your comments on several posts that were recently published on Caribbean DevTrends. I have taken the liberty of sharing your comments on infrastructure, housing and Caribbean culture with IDB colleagues. Please keep reading and commenting on Caribbean DevTrends. Thank you again.

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