Wed | Nov 13, 2019

Restaurants, food vendors blamed for MoBay’s rat problem

Published:Friday | May 17, 2019 | 12:28 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer
Homer Davis
Homer Davis


Despite the efforts of the St James Municipal Corporation, the city of Montego Bay is still grappling with rodent infestation resulting from improper disposal of garbage by some food establishments and street-side food vendors.

And, the behaviour of the citizens has contributed largely to the infestation.

“Our disposal of garbage is not being done in the best way … . The restaurants are disposing their leftover food in a way in which it creates rat infestation,” Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis told the business community during a presentation at the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.

“There is no doubt that we have a challenge in Montego Bay as it relates to rodents. I am saying that as a city, it didn’t just come about like that. It came about because of our behaviour as a people,” he lamented, arguing that the town’s residents and businesses discard their waste in places such as manholes.

“When the men on the streets who do their jerk at nights, at the end of the night, whatever is left, they just lift a manhole and throw it in there,” the mayor said.

Turning to the issue of aesthetics, Davis appealed to business owners to take steps to improve the look of their premises to complement beautification works which the corporation is undertaking throughout the municipality. He highlighted the restoration works being undertaken on the grounds of the KFC restaurant at Howard Cooke Boulevard, which he said other entities could emulate.

“This is our city. Don’t just criticise who is throwing their garbage. Let us get together to protect our city. Transform your properties; it is not only used for the purpose of going in and making big bucks; nothing is wrong with that. I am for profit because I know that is what drives the economy and creates wealth for people and give persons opportunities,” he appealed.

Earlier this year, the St James Municipal Corporation, in collaboration with the health authorities, the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the National Solid Waste Management Authority, staged public health workshops for food handling establishments.

At the time, the police pinpointed Barnett Street and St James Street as two of the main thoroughfares along which poor garbage disposal practices were being practised.