Public Health Hazard: Garbage Dumped on Downtown Street Outside Health Facility

It is so tiring, so baffling. Why is there such a problem with solid waste in this country? Is it selfish, careless members of the public who think someone else is there to clean up after them? Or is it incompetent national and local authorities who are not doing their job properly? Perhaps a combination of both, in varying degrees.

Let us look at this example of filthiness. Of course it is not the only one, but efforts to have the situation corrected have fallen on stony ground. For almost a year and a half now! CEO of the Jamaica Family Planning Association St. Rachel Ustanny wrote to the Kingston & St. Andrew Corporation’s (KSAC) Town Clerk on June 23, 2015 regarding a “community waste disposal site” situated right next to their clinic at 65 East Street (where a doctor’s office is also situated). She pointed out that this dump attracts roaches (and, no doubt rats too) and emits a foul odor – right in front of a health facility. Well, Ms. Ustanny received a one-sentence email the following day, noting that it would be treated “as a matter of urgency.”

Garbage dumped at 65 East Street. A permanent fixture.
Garbage dumped at 65 East Street. A permanent fixture.

What does an urgent matter constitute, KSAC? The problem remains, to this day.

I have some questions. Is this a spot that has been designated by someone (there is no bin or skip, as you can see) for people to regularly deposit their garbage, which is cleared by a truck every now and then? If so, who allowed this to happen? Why has the KSAC done nothing about it for one year and five months? How did such an arrangement come about, and why should visitors and workers at a health clinic have to endure this?

This is just one street side issue. But, please do feast your eyes on the photos, below…

This week, I attended an excellent workshop held by the Electoral Office of Jamaica for media and those who are reporting the news ahead of the local government elections. The turnout was not very impressive. There have been some significant changes to the legislation which came into force on March 1 this year, but I suppose our journalists believe they don’t have anything new to learn. Tomorrow is Nomination Day. We need to think about all these issues, as we approach the elections on November 28.

Let’s hold our local councilors accountable. Their decisions (or lack thereof) impact our lives daily. Let’s be aware, and let us report these matters – whether we are journalists or ordinary citizens.

Let’s go and vote, and afterwards make sure our elected ones do their job, whichever party they belong to.

By the way, this is not limited to downtown Kingston. Uptown our citizens continue their filthy habits, and informal dumps appear regularly on my lovely street!
Incidentally, this is not limited to downtown Kingston. In uptown residential areas such as mine our citizens continue their filthy habits, and informal dumps appear regularly on my lovely street!

 

What is the green stuff in the gutter, I wonder? I shudder to think. (Photos from FamPlan/Eve for Life)
What is the green stuff in the gutter, I wonder? I shudder to think. (Photos from FamPlan/Eve for Life)

 

 


5 thoughts on “Public Health Hazard: Garbage Dumped on Downtown Street Outside Health Facility

  1. Good idea to hold councilors accountable but we need to better understand what they still have responsibility for. Many things no longer fall under them e.g garbage disposal (NSWMA), fire brigade (min of local government), many roads (NWA), street lights (JPS). This leaves things like markets, homes for the indigent? It would be useful to find out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The KSAC does not have sole responsibility for garbage but is supposed to work with all the agencies like NSWMA to ensure they get the job done (see below re: coordination with…). But NSWMA falls under the Local Government Ministry… I am posting here what currently appears on the KSAC website under “Roles and Functions.” Street lights is one of their responsibilities I do believe? Unless it’s changed.
      Developing, managing and maintaining infrastructure and public facilities such as parochial roads, water supplies, drains and gullies, parks, recreational centers, markets, abattoirs, pounds, cemeteries, Transportation Centers, Public Sanitary Convene.
      Provision of Local services such as Poor Relief, Public Cleansing, Public Health, Street Lighting, Social Water.
      Regulating powers in respect of building and planning approvals and development centre, licensing of trades and businesses, street parking, control of public vending centre, licensing of trades and businesses.
      Co-ordinating inter-agency collaboration among Non-governmental organizations (N.G.O.s) community based organizations (C.B.O.s) and government agencies which operate in the parish and are engaged in the delivery of Local service or Local Development.
      Support of national policies / development programmes at the local level.
      Spearhead plans and initiatives for orderly, balanced and sustainable development of the parish as whole and major towns in particular for boosting economic activity and local wealth creation in the parish.
      Organize and stage civic and special events to mark local and national commemorative occasions.

      Like

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