Thu | Apr 9, 2020

Migrant wipers - Devon House intersection first choice for hustlers forced to move after Three Miles closure

Published:Sunday | October 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis
Two windshield wipers work on one car at the intersection of Waterloo and Hope roads last Wednesday.
Mobay: " Up yah so (Devon House intersection) harder and rough.”

With the closure of the Three Miles intersection at the usually busy Portia Simpson Miller Square for road improvements, the windshield wipers, who are normally seen hustling there, have migrated to other sections of the Corporate Area, with the majority taking up residence at the intersection of Waterloo and Hope roads in the vicinity of Devon house.

Last Wednesday, at least 15 windshield wipers were seen at the busy intersection jostling for the right to tackle the next motorist who stops at the traffic lights.

This was several more than would be seen at that intersection before motorists were diverted from Three Miles, and sources said the number climbs to more than 20 at times.

One wiper told The Sunday Gleaner that because there are so many of them trying to hustle in the same small area, trouble is never far away.

"Nuff problems a gwaan. The people them a tell the police say too much man deh right yah so and a complain, and you done know say yah so a uptown, up here so different from Three Miles.

"You see when the whole a the man them deh yah, the place well crowded and pack and a that the people them afraid of. Everybody up yah so now," said a windshield wiper who goes by the name Tray.

His colleague 'Mobay' had a similar story.

"Too much man and a pure war the man dem a war. We a friend, but when it come to 10 (dollars) and 20 (dollars) we want cut we one another throat, which is wrong. We no fi a do that. Same Three Miles we a come from, some a we all live inna the same lane, know each other parents, we born and grow," said Mobay.

"It come in like a more stress we come in a. Up yah so harder and rough," added Mobay.




He said before work started at Three Miles, they had asked for jobs on the road improvement project, but since most of them had no proper identification, no tax registration number and no national insurance scheme number they were rejected.

"Them a give different people, who them feel fi give, and we who inna the streets for how much years them no give we. Them run we weh and the liaison officer know we. Him say come back tomorrow, come back tomorrow and nothing," added Mobay.

Most of the displaced windshield wipers live in the communities close to the Portia Miller Square, including Payne Land and Majesty Gardens. They said most mornings they now have to walk the further distance to the Devon House intersection and they are not earning the money they made while they hustled in Three Miles.

According to one of the wipers, he now makes $1,400 a day at Devon House, while at Three Miles, which the police estimate 70,000 vehicles traverse daily, he was making $2,000 to $3,000 each day.

The windshield wipers told our news team that they are worried that if the police force them to move from the Devon House intersection they will have nowhere else to go.

Efforts to get a comment from the Half-Way Tree police were unsuccessful up to press time.