Sat | Sep 22, 2018

‘Plan it we will fund it’ - $600,000 committed for public sanitary convenience in Junction, St Elizabeth

Published:Sunday | May 24, 2015 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju
Scores of persons make their way along the busy streets of the town centre in Junction, St. Elizabeth.

The pressing need for public sanitary conveniences to meet the demands of commuters and customers in the growing south coast town of Junction, St Elizabeth, has been cited as a major failing of policymakers tasked with guiding its structured development.

But that could be fixed as soon as the parish council identifies land in the town for the erection of these well-needed amenities.

"The next thing that I have on my mind day and night is public sanitary convenience and if I had a piece of land I would donate it right now. Junction is desperate, desperate," Lorna Wint who operates the Junction Pharmacy, told Gleaner editors and reporters at a forum in Junction last Thursday.

"I can tell you sometimes I almost walk in some of the ... going into my business place because they don't have anywhere else to go and they just wait until the night comes. So, I would really love to see that kind of development here in Junction," added Wint.


Trying to identify land


However, Shawn Nembhard, the commercial services manager of the St Elizabeth Parish Council, said the body has recognised the enormity of the problem and has been trying hard to identify land to set up this well-needed facility.

That announcement was immediately met with a commitment from Richard Parchment, member of Parliament for South East, St Elizabeth.

"Whenever the parish council identifies an area and decide that they are going, I am pledging from my Constituency Development Fund half a million dollars to that regard," Parchment told the forum.

"You just identify the place, do the plans and tell me when you are ready," added Parchment.

He was quickly backed by Wint. "And I am pledging a $100,000," announced the business woman who has operated out of Junction for some 33 years.


Legal obligation


In the meantime, Nembhard is reminding business operators in Junction of their legal obligation to provide sanitary conveniences for use by customers.

"Plans that are approved at the council, each business place should provide at least one sanitary convenience for members of the public. And what we realise is that those business places are operating contrary to the approved plans.

"They put in the public sanitary convenience yes, but (allow) only their staff to use it. So, even customers who come into their business place are not allowed to use it and this is one of the problems. But the councillor for the area and the council are trying to identify an area to set up a public sanitary convenience," added Nembhard.

Keep reading The Gleaner for 'Growing Junction' coming soon.