Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Kingston Harbour a cesspool of garbage

Published:Saturday | April 9, 2016 | 12:01 AM
Christopher Serju Garbage washed into the sea at the intersection with the Rae Town Gully in downtown Kingston presents a graphic image of some of the debris polluting the Kingston Harbour.

Kingston Harbour a cesspool of garbage



At times, the sheer volume and intensity of Jamaica's challenges threaten to overwhelm even the strongest of heart. I do consider myself to be optimistic about Jamaica, but this outlook suffered a real and emotional shock as I travelled along the Palisadoes Road to deliver family members to the airport on Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

What I saw, affecting the seventh-largest natural harbour in the world, our Kingston Harbour, was nothing short of a national disgrace and an environmental disaster. It appeared as if we had suffered a spill of garbage - the plastic and floating kind - with the evidence banked up along the shoreline and strewn in the depths in full view from where our lovely esplanade allows for citizens to relax and gaze out on what could be a serene and soothing sight.

Please, do not tell me that it is nothing new, and it is just that I am seeing it for the first time. For if this is so, then we know for sure that NEPA is of no use and the technical staff of the relevant environmental ministry and authorities are fraudulently collecting their salaries.

I am no environmental expert, but is it that all I was seeing was the plastic and colourful refuse that was spilt? Or was there also effluent of the non-floating kind that was also mingled in the waters of our harbour?

Even if the problem is too complex to be solved this week, can we have some comment or statement from the relevant authorities to assure the public that things are not as bad as they seem and that effective measures and corrective actions will be swift in coming?