VENDORS at the intersection of Oxford Street and Spanish Town Road in downtown Kingston are livid that despite their pleas, raw sewage has continued to flow on the street for months now.

They claim that men who work on a sewage disposal truck responsible for clearing the waste from a nearby manhole have demanded that they pay thousands of dollars before any work can be done.

According to one of the vendors who gave her name as “Munchie”, “The last time that hole was blocked the truck people seh it would cost $30,000. A girl collected around $29,000 and they cleaned it. Now, it has been blocked for months and this was before back-to-school [in September] 2022. The big blue and white truck weh clean the manhole would come around and di man dem seh we have to pay. We are not supposed to pay them to clean it. That is a government’s duty.”

“Them a force we fi pay like it is a money-making thing. When rain fall, mi stall yah so flood out. Mi haffi find a high place to stand up,” she said.

Pointing to the road, Munchie claimed that sewage was responsible for the many huge potholes in front of where she and many others sell their goods. She sells mainly drinks and juices mostly at nights.

She said a fellow vendor has been sick for weeks, which she blamed on the raw sewage flowing in the streets.

Another vendor, Michelle, claimed that recently she bought some goods to sell and they became contaminated with the sewage.

“Mi come a town come buy mi load and put it down. Sewage water run over pon it. Mi did haffi lef dem,” she said.

Latty, who is also a vendor, said she has to constantly wash the tyres of her minibus which she parks nearby.

“Mi can’t manage. When mi ready fi leave and go inna di van, mi haffi open it up fi it breeze out, because of the stench,” she explained.

Munchie, meanwhile, complained about the metropolitan police who she believes could play a role in getting the authorities to fix the problem. She also accused some motorists of a lack of discretion when driving through the sewage-filled streets as they splash vendors and pedestrians.

“Normally the whole road full a sewage. When the metro dem come, if your goods are in the sewage they don’t harass you and take it up. They come up yah so pon di sidewalk because dem nuh see nuh sewage up yah so. They should call the truck people to fix the manhole and get di road sort out,” she said.

The Jamaica Observer also saw raw sewage on West Queen Street close to Orange Street. In the afternoon on Tuesday, one vendor said that at tines the sewage flows heavily in the streets. By noon, he said, the sun would dry it up on the asphalt. When the sun goes down, sewage starts flowing again. According to him, that is a daily cycle.

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