Hundreds of workers have been hired as part of a four-week government programme to clean up overgrown bush, trash and other oddments along major public roadways, according to representatives of the United Democratic Party government.
The clean-up effort is an attempt to get Grand Cayman looking its best ahead of the Christmas holidays, traditionally the start of the Cayman Islands’ busy tourism season.
The government is also granting temporary employment to out-of-work Caymanians, permanent residents and spouses of Caymanians through the programme.
Workers in bright yellow vests could be spotted each day last week along the road side in areas of West Bay, and George Town; including on West Bay Road near the Seven Mile Beach corridor with machetes and trash bags cleaning up the place.
According to those temporary workers, they are being paid $10 per hour for seven-hour work days, five days a week. Free lunch and bottled water is also being provided at government expense.
George Town MLA Ellio Solomon said last week during a Legislative Assembly meeting that not all those who wanted jobs were able to be hired. But he said he hoped the public would support the programme.
‘It’s not perfect, but we believe it is the least we can do,’ Mr. Solomon said. ‘There are hundreds of families…that are much better off.’
Some 134 workers had been hired in George Town district, he said. There were another 100 or so who wanted jobs, but whom the project simply could not accommodate.
Mr. Solomon said government expected to spend approximately $1 million on the clean up programme.
‘They’re not robbing, they’re not stealing, they’re just asking for an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work,’ he said.