Dave Lindo, Gleaner Writer
MILE GULLY, Manchester:
CARL LEWIS, like many other residents of Mile Gully, is dreaming of a better tomorrow for the community located in north-west, Manchester.
With a lack of job opportunities being the order of the day as a result of the closure of the Kirkvine bauxite plant and the underdevelopment of the town, things are made harder for Lewis and other residents.
Despite the economic crunch, however, Lewis still soldiers on in an effort to provide for his family.
He has found a means of survival in selling soup at a stall beside the taxi stand in the centre of the town.
"I have been doing this for 10 years now," Lewis said. "I cook a little red peas soup with chicken foot and dumplings. More time mi cook corn, or when Christmas time, mi cook like goat soup or them tings deh."
Lewis said despite his business being slow, he is hopeful that things will get better.
"Things rough, especially in an area like Mile Gully when nothing much nah gwaan, but yuh can't give up still. You have to fight through same way. Once there is life, there is hope, and Mile Gully is a nice place with so much potential."
One of his main concerns, aside from the absence of running water, is the lack of attention given to a park in the square, which is located beside his stall.
According to Lewis, the park is a place where people can sit and relax and would normally bring in more business for him and the other businesses in the town.
When Rural Xpress visited Mile Gully, the park was overgrown with bushes. It showed promise for being a good hang-out spot in the heart of the town.
"It's right in the town centre, and it's a nice place where people love to cool out," said Lewis. They can eat and have their drinks there and just enjoy themselves. As you can see, though, they (authorities) don't take care of it. Sometimes it's me who clean it up, but it is hard for me one to do it every time."
He added: "The toilet facilities in the park lock down long time. No other public toilet facilities in the town, so they need to fix it and have it running."
One of Lewis' friends who was passing by said: "If every man get $2,000, they clean it up long time, but it seems like the bigger heads them don't care. That's why you see it stay suh. Most of the bars don't have a restroom, just a urinal, so (a public toilet) is needed in the town."