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Ginger Ridge residents want twin woes addressed

Published:Friday | November 18, 2016 | 11:00 AMJovan Johnson
Junior Bowes
With politicians now hustling to get their votes for the local government polls later this month, residents of Macca Tree in St Catherine are adamant that fixing problems like their bad roads must be one of the immediate actions of the eventual victor.
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The twin problems of water shortage and bad roads still stalk Macca Tree district in the Ginger Ridge division of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation.

But with politicians now hustling to get their votes for the local government polls later this month, the residents are adamant that fixing the problems must be one of the immediate actions of the eventual victor.

"Is only recently we a see di councillor dem really a come through and really a show dem face. When we put them up there, we would a like fi si dem come see wah a happen inna di community," Junior Bowes, 49, told The Gleaner on Wednesday.

"The road waah fix and wi nuh have nuh water. More time, we the residents haffi tek up some tings pon wi self because the councillors are not there until elections. We have a big tank up there so (Mount Pleasant) and wi only haffi depend pon that when rain fall," the farmer said.

But he said the problem can be fixed.

"The man dem run pipe and ting 'bout two years now', but nuh water nah come. Water used to come fi like an hour and yuh nuh see it again. Maybe once or two time fi di month. Dem haffi try sort out that.

Meanwhile, another Macca Tree resident, who gave his name as Leighton, argued that his community has been disappointed for too long, so it will not be business as usual after this election.

 

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"Through dem claim seh a nyammings or drinking wi love, dem just come and buy two likkle green bottle, gi wi two argument and dem gone; wi nah si dem back. Mi wah fi si whosoever seh dem a run fi yah so - whether red, green or gold - deal wid di people dem officially. Water a wi biggest concern and dem use that a trick wi," he said, to the approval of other residents.

The Ginger Ridge division is currently represented by People's National Party's Ralston 'John' Wilson, who is seeking re-election. He has served as councillor for 37 years.

He said about $80 million has been spent on putting in place a system to distribute water from the source at Bellas Gate and by next week, the residents should be getting water.

"The source is being worked on. By this weekend or someday next week, water will be back in the pipeline. Moreover, it (system) has improved tremendously it will be better than the first."

Wilson is being challenged by the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) Huit Johnson, a primary-school principal.

"Training and education are my big things. One of my visions is to have a job bank to help with an apprenticeship programme. Also, to continue with the PAID programme. It's for poor, ambitious, intelligent, disciplined students. Students who are leaving schools would get a one-off $10,000 to assist with further education.

"They would have to earn it, it's not being giving away," he said.

While Wilson has made the area into a PNP stronghold over the last three decades, the JLP polled 1,389 votes to the PNP's 1,099 to win the division in the February general election.

Ginger Ridge falls in the St Catherine West Central constituency, represented by the JLP's Dr Christopher Tufton.

jovan.johnson@gleanerjm.com