Wed | Dec 8, 2021

Montego Bay filthy, disgraceful

Published:Sunday | August 16, 2015 | 2:08 PM


Three cheers to the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) under the visionary leadership of their president, Gloria Henry, for seeing the need and for beginning to take the initiative to clean up downtown Montego Bay, the state of which, quite frankly, is a national disgrace. I am appalled by the filthy state of the place every time I go there.

Montego Bay, lest we forget, is the only other city in Jamaica apart from the capital city, Kingston. It is in a terrible state of dilapidation, like many other towns in Jamaica, and it is very unclean all the time. The place is literally a mess and it is a blessing in disguise that the many visitors to the various all-inclusives in and around its environs are kept away from this blight and grime.

It doesn't have to be that way. Montego Bay is not, by any means, a poor place.

It has a vibrant business district that is expanding to accommodate new and existing businesses and, of course, its tourist industry. Why has it been allowed to become so run-down and dirty? Who is to blame? Whose responsibility is it to keep the place clean?

The blame lies with all of us as Jamaicans because we tolerate the mess and, for the most part, we create it. Too many of us fail to observe basic civic pride. We dump our rubbish anywhere and care very little about recycling or the deleterious effect of our unclean streets, gullies, waterways and sidewalks.

Let us hope that the MBCCI gets all the support that it needs from central government, the St James Parish Council, the National Solid Waste Management Authority, the business community and the people who live, visit and make their livelihoods there.

It is just far too easy to dispose of one's garbage anyway and anyhow in Jamaica. It is high time the Government start hitting the pockets of those litterbugs very hard indeed. It also needs a very wide-ranging public education campaign.