St Cather­ine needs ur­gent at­ten­tion

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE EDI­TOR Sir: THE VI­O­LENCE-PLAGUED par­ish of St Cather­ine, and in par­tic­u­lar, Span­ish Town, needs to be ur­gently in­cluded in the na­tional di­a­logue be­cause of the so­cial and eco­nomic degra­da­tion which have made it dif­fi­cult for its cit­i­zens to en­joy a civilised and healthy ex­is­tence.

Tele­vi­sion Ja­maica (TVJ) re­cently car­ried a news item on the pile-up/non-col­lec­tion of garbage in the par­ish. The es­ca­la­tion is now a public nui­sance even as busi­ness per­sons and res­i­dents voice their dis­gust with the in­tol­er­a­ble sit­u­a­tion. Not only is the smell a big prob­lem, but they also fear the spread of dis­eases.

The par­ish is look­ing at a se­ri­ous san­i­ta­tion cri­sis that re­quires im­me­di­ate in­ter­ven­tion. No one knows for sure what makes up this waste be­cause the coun­try is not cur­rently en­gaged in waste sep­a­ra­tion, so apart from do­mes­tic waste, there may be med­i­cal waste, elec­tronic waste and even car­cases in­cluded among the make-up.

The garbage pile-up is in plain view of ev­ery­one in­clud­ing tourists, and most nat­u­rally, neg­a­tively af­fect eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties in the area. The sit­u­a­tion now begs the ques­tion: ‘Does any­one re­ally care?’

The twin so­cial ills of non-col­lec­tion of garbage and crime, while not unique to St Cather­ine, stand out like a sore thumb ready to de­stroy the rich legacy of the par­ish.

Please al­low me, as a con­cerned cit­i­zen to im­plore stake­hold­ers such as the Min­istry of Health, the Min­istry of Tourism, the min­istries of in­for­ma­tion and cul­ture, the Na­tional Solid Waste Man­age­ment Author­ity, and the per­sons liv­ing, work­ing and do­ing busi­ness in the area to rise up, stand up, and take ac­tion to re­store and in­vest in the par­ish in a more mean­ing­ful way. PAMELA V. LOWE glad­ina10@ya­

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