KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Port Royal Development project is being pursued in a “very holistic way” with the participation and support of residents, who must own the development.
“We cannot displace the people who live in Port Royal; they must become a part of the development,” he said.
“They must become defenders of the development, they must be a part of the prosperity that will come, and they must become wardens of the investment, wardens of the environment and wardens of peace in the area,” Holness added.
He was addressing the opening of the Caribbean Infrastructure Forum today, Tuesday (January 21) at the AC Hotel by Marriott in New Kingston.
The Port Royal Development aims to transform the historic town into a thriving centre for tourism and includes construction of a cruise ship terminal, revitalisation of Fort Charles, building of a museum, among other works. There will also be improvements in the housing stock, water system, roadways and drainage network.
The town welcomed its first cruise ship on Monday (January 20).
The Prime Minister said that the appropriate technology will be employed as part of the development, to protect the environment and the heritage sites.
He noted that investment has been made in the installation of an environmentally friendly floating pier known as a SeaWalk to accommodate large cruise ships.
“The ships are moored off the coast and the SeaWalk extends to the ship, and that ship doesn’t come anywhere close to the sunken city or any other sensitive environmental asset in the area,” he explained.
The Prime Minister said that the investment “will also include works to build a seawall and raise the foundations of buildings that we are putting in. We will, within Port Royal, remove houses that are at risk and place them in safer places”.
“So the truth is that the investment in Port Royal is not just going to create economic value but it is going to ultimately protect the environment and improve the lives of the people,” Holness added.
The two-day Caribbean Infrastructure Forum, hosted by the Development Bank of Jamaica and Jamaica Promotions Corporation, has attracted participants from the region.