PNP women want urgent help for the elderly

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People’s National Party Women’s Movement (PNPWM) is calling on the Government to identify all senior citizens who live alone and beneath the poverty line and immediately take steps to provide them with electricity.

This, the PNPWM said is urgent as poor and vulnerable senior citizens across the island, who live on their own face the risk of perishing in blazes owing to the use of candles and lamps.

The group said the call comes in the wake of the recent gruesome loss of a senior citizen who was burnt to death in Peckham, Clarendon. 

 The house in which she lived alone was reportedly burnt to the ground as a result of fire which started after she fell asleep leaving a lit candle.

“There have been a number of reports over the years where single seniors have perished in blazes which started from lit candles or oil lamps.

“While this current incident has not been confirmed by the police, residents in the area say the use of candles by the senior was always a risk.

 President of the PNPWM, Jennifer Edwards said more must be done to protect the vulnerable in the society and no one is more deserving of protection than senior citizens. 

“Clearly this person could not afford electricity and had to rely on other unsafe means to get light,” Edwards said.

Edwards is proposing that an immediate survey of seniors living without electricity be undertaken and a programme to provide this basic necessity be put in place in collaboration with the JPS, the Ministry of Housing and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

According to Edwards, the Government spends billions of dollars on non-essentials, “It is therefore not beyond them to fix a problem which frequently causes death.”

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