Sat | Apr 4, 2020

Port Antonio mayor cries foul as rats plague town

Published:Friday | February 21, 2020 | 12:35 AMGareth Davis/Gleaner Writer
Garbage that was dumped along the coastline of Foreshore Road in Port Antonio.
Garbage that was dumped along the coastline of Foreshore Road in Port Antonio.


The dumping of garbage along the coastline of Port Antonio, in the vicinity of Foreshore Road, which has transformed that area into a breeding ground for rats, has angered Mayor Paul Thompson.

Thompson, who spoke with The Gleaner recently, pointed out that considerable resource was pumped into getting rid of rats, which had overran the town and its environs.

He argued that despite the join-up approach on the part of various state agencies that pooled their resources together in the fight against the rodents, the lack of civic pride on the part of those who continue to dump food particles, plastic material and other garbage, which is a recipe for breeding rats, is hampering the success of the rodent-eradication programme.

“This has got to stop!” Thompson said.


“We were winning the fight against the rats to eradicate and to disrupt their breeding ground, but there is now a new twist to our success, as persons are literally feeding rodents along the corridor of Foreshore Road. Once food is dumped in that area, the rats will return, and indeed they have, to some extent.

“The Ministry of Health, the Portland Municipal Corporation and the Social Development Commission have dedicated time, money, and human resource just to ensure that the fight against the rodents is heavily concentrated on. But it doesn’t make any sense and we are doomed for failure if individuals continue to deposit food along that area. The amount of resources that was pumped into public education alone was a tidy sum. We have to do better as a people and stop this kind of nasty practice.”

The re-emergence of the rodents, primarily rats and roaches, have also triggered cries from commercial business operators. Eustas Lindsay of Piggy’s Jerk Centre is appealing to persons to desist from dumping food particles, which is attracting rats along that corridor, even during daytime.

Rats are known for spreading the dreaded leptospirosis disease, which is harmful to humans and can result in death.