Wed | Apr 26, 2017

Lorrimers residents treated like second-rate citizens

Published:Saturday | August 23, 2014 | 8:00 AM
Paul Patmore

This is an open letter to acting Public Defender Paul Patmore.

I write in the capacity of councillor of Lorrimers division in Trelawny on behalf of the people. The residents of Lorrimers seek the representation of the public defender in relation to the below matters in light of our constitutional rights.

WATER

Since time immemorial, the National Water Commission (NWC) and the Government of Jamaica, from either major political party, have been promising to equip the division with the proper infrastructure to facilitate the supply of water. The situation to date is that of a public disaster, to the point that there has been an outbreak of disease in the division because of a lack of water to carry out daily hygienic functions. In addition, the lack of water has crippled the output of agricultural produce. Children and the elderly have to walk in excess of three miles to access water. The situation has now become unbearable.

STREET LIGHTS

There is a general lack of street lights in the area. This has led to crimes against children, the elderly and women. The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has promised several times to install street lights and make the necessary repairs, to no avail.

GARBAGE COLLECTION

The pile-up of garbage in the area is now a public-health disaster because of the presence of rats and other insects that have now taken over common areas and living spaces in the division. There has been an outbreak of diseases linked to the improper disposal of garbage and its attendant contamination.

ROADS

The roads in our division are woeful and are a death trap. Despite repeated notification of the relevant authorities on the potholes and manholes there, nothing has been done about the same. This lack of roads has crippled our ability to transport agricultural produce and persons, as taxi and bus drivers are hesitant to operate in this area.

TRANSPORTATION

Currently, we do not have the comfort of the JUTC buses running in our division. Children have to walk for miles to get to school and persons working face grave challenges daily to get to work.

OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

It is our contention in this division that the treatment meted out by past and present administrations and utility companies to rural Jamaica in general, and Lorrimers division in particular, is discriminatory and is in breach of the Jamaican Constitution, as we are not treated with the same importance as other parts of Jamaica.

We have been largely ignored by state institutions and utility companies such as the JPS and NWC and are suffering as a consequence. We hereby seek the assistance of the public defender to assist us in remedying the breaches of our constitutional rights to basic living amenities.

Paul Patmore

Councillor, Lorrimers Division, Trelawnymrpaulpatmore@yahoo.com