PSOJ urges a unified approach in the vaccination effort

The Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) is sounding a little exasperated, and who can blame them? I attended a press briefing by the Ministry of Health and Wellness this evening (surprisingly, very poorly attended by the media), and came away with the feeling that we are plodding along, doing more of the same – … More PSOJ urges a unified approach in the vaccination effort

Why is it taking so long to investigate the cutting of a Rastafarian’s dreadlocks by the police?

The alleged cutting of a Rastafarian woman’s dreadlocks by the police on July 22, 2021 caused a huge wave of outrage on Jamaican social media. I wrote about the case here for Global Voices. Well, once the storm of outrage had died down – and other news items and new “things to be shocked about” … More Why is it taking so long to investigate the cutting of a Rastafarian’s dreadlocks by the police?

Heart Foundation of Jamaica lights up Usain Bolt’s statue for World Heart Day

There was a big splash of bright red, lighting up our champion sprinter Usain Bolt (his statue, that is) recently. Why? As part of this year’s World Heart Day celebration, The Heart Foundation of Jamaica – which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year – illuminated the Usain Bolt statue, located at the National Stadium … More Heart Foundation of Jamaica lights up Usain Bolt’s statue for World Heart Day

Jamaica’s rivers and gullies are suffering from abuse

Today is World Rivers Day. It is observed on the fourth Sunday in September every year, I have learned. It was founded by a Canadian, Mark Angelo, a long-time river advocate who spoke at the United Nations in 2005 as part of its Water for Life campaign. Jamaican rivers are very different, of course, from … More Jamaica’s rivers and gullies are suffering from abuse

Concentrating minds: the Caribbean at the UN in 2021 was shorter and sharper

Fast forward to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 2021 – and what a difference two years can make. In my last post, I offered a critique of Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s somewhat unfocused speech at the UNGA in 2019. Well, the world has changed. Ms. Mottley’s 2021 speech hit home and gave the … More Concentrating minds: the Caribbean at the UN in 2021 was shorter and sharper

A Caribbean woman causes a stir at the United Nations

Caribbean people love speeches. I have sat through so many speeches in Jamaica; most have been at least ten minutes too long. I have even written quite a few myself. Yes, Caribbean people know how to “talk the hind leg off a donkey,” as the saying goes. Some political leaders have been famous for it. … More A Caribbean woman causes a stir at the United Nations

COVID-19 crisis in Jamaican prisons: a call for the most vulnerable to be released

In my last news update, I wrote: It was disturbing to learn recently that only 10 per cent of the prison population has been vaccinated (was a truly concerted effort to get them vaccinated ever undertaken?) Now even more worryingly, we learn that 58 prisoners and 38 staff members have tested positive.  In his State of … More COVID-19 crisis in Jamaican prisons: a call for the most vulnerable to be released

September 21, 2021 in Jamaica: The car that broke down, the toast that burnt, and the polls that flopped

With tropical storms pottering around in the Atlantic (two are called Peter and Rose, the names of our nephew and niece, respectively), it has been warm and muggy in Kingston. Clouds appear and do not bring rain. It has been a week of surprising developments – not least that of the toast to “No Movement … More September 21, 2021 in Jamaica: The car that broke down, the toast that burnt, and the polls that flopped

Government funding withdrawn from Jamaica Environment Trust’s 24-year-old Schools Environment Programme

The news that landed in my inbox today filled me with mixed emotions (mainly, anger). Despite the enormous success of the programme over the years, the Schools Environment Programme (SEP) has finally had the rug pulled from under it by its main donor, the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA). The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) is … More Government funding withdrawn from Jamaica Environment Trust’s 24-year-old Schools Environment Programme

Jamaica Update, September 13, 2021: Putting that awful August well behind us

It was an awful August, truly. Ten days in, the month had already got the thumbs down from me on many counts. The predictable but still shocking report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was one thing. Then there are the relentlessly soaring COVID-19 numbers, reflected in the tired faces of Minister Christopher … More Jamaica Update, September 13, 2021: Putting that awful August well behind us