KENDAL, Hanover — Member of Parliament (MP) for Hanover Western, Tamika Davis has given a Monday, October 31, 2022 start date for work on the Green Island to Glasgow road that borders Hanover and Westmoreland.
Her assurance comes after residents staged a massive protest on Tuesday to call attention to the shoddy roads and a pile-up of garbage in the area. However, the MP’s promise that the road would be fixed as part of a $14-million patching programme which started a few weeks ago appeared to be of little comfort to the residents. Arguing that patching will be ineffective, they demanded that the road be properly repaired. This, they said, should include drains that will take the water away from the surface.
“No patching nuh wanted roun’ yah because as yuh patch water dig it out. Di road want to grade off an duh very good,” said an irate Kendal resident who gave her name as Debbie Joe.
Last week the Jamaica Observer reported that patching had begun on the Great River to Lucea, and Lucea to Green Island main roads. Davis, a first-term MP who won the seat on the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) ticket, visited the area and told residents that rain had delayed the Green Island to Glasgow segment.
“As you may very well know, it makes no sense to attempt to do road rehabilitation work during the rainy season, especially with the heavy rainfall that we have seen over the last couple of days — it is beyond what we would normally get — so it is the only reason why this morning we are not driving on patched roads,” stated Davis, who added that she understands the plight of the people and has been working to let them know the latest updates.
Resident Ramion Reynolds, however, told the Observer no one had communicated with them before the protest staged Tuesday.
“There has never been anybody that came to the constituency to hold a meeting or to say whatever will be the development of this constituency or the community itself. We have never seen a representation of that sort,” he argued.
He added that the community has for years been neglected by political representatives from both major political parties. But he is hoping that will now change.
“We are hoping for the best until Monday when we can see what will happen. After that, the community might have to take some form of justice-related matter again for us to get the MP or possibly the Minister [of Local Government and Rural Development] Desmond McKenzie to come and step in for us to get some better understanding of what will happen to the community road,” said Reynolds.
One woman who identified herself as Felice made it clear that she is prepared to escalate actions taken on Tuesday if the roads are not repaired as promised.
“Look how much big tree round yah dat nuh drop as yet. Light post deh yah dat can drop dung said way,” she warned.
Sub-officer assigned to the Green Island Police Station, Inspector Mervin Hodges, who told the Observer that the residents have decided not to stage another protest before Monday, is hoping work will begin on the day the MP has promised.
“We hope the MP will come through for the citizens because they need the road to be fixed, so we crave their patience until such time,” he said.