Those of us who live and work in Ocho Rios are saddened to see the extent to which the town continues to exist in a state of decay. It is as though the authorities are deliberately singling out Ocho Rios, especially the section known as Uptown Ocho Rios, for especially bad treatment.
The most vulgar example of this is the way the authorities have cleaned the gully from the entrance of Jamaica Grande up to DaCosta Drive. Thus when one stands on the bridge across from the entrance of Jamaica Grande and looks south along the gully it is sparkling clean up to the bridge leading across DaCosta Drive. However, from the bridge on DaCosta Drive, continuing south to the playfield, the gully is heavily overgrown. Mounds of garbage and silt are in it. It is infested with rats, flies and mosquitoes and it is perhaps the best example of the way the authorities treat Downtown Ocho Rios which is for the tourists as opposed to how they treat Uptown Ocho Rios for “the locals”.
The Ocho Rios market is located in Uptown Ocho Rios. The state of the market is the best example of how authorities can create disorganization, chaos, and disorder. There are heaps of garbage at several locations in the market and along the street adjacent to the market. The condition is below any standard of sanitary requirement that one would expect in a market.Stalls and motor vehicles have taken over the market car park and this is impacting negatively on persons who have businesses adjacent to the car park.
We need to remind ourselves that there was a time when the Ocho Rios market and parking lot were so well organized and clean that during Jazz Festival several bands played jazz in the Ocho Rios market car park.
The gully adjacent to the bus park in Ocho Rios is in a disgraceful condition. There is garbage all along this gully and persons walking by can attest to the offensive odour that is always coming from this gully. There are huge rats, swarms of flies and mosquitoes in this gutter. It is unfair for it to be in this state adjacent to the transport centre where citizens, especially school children, have to go to get a bus or taxi to go home. There is no regard for the health or welfare of citizens given the way this gully is allowed to remain.
There is an area located in Buckfield and which was given to the citizens for a park. This area is located at the intersection of Almond Place, Almond Road and Pitcairn Green. The area is covered by two huge guango trees. However it has not been maintained by the authorities. It is overgrown and is a haven for robbers and other wrong doers as well as the mentally challenged. This park has not been cleaned for over ten years now. It is as though the authorities are unaware of its existence. This however should not come as a surprise to anyone as the roads in Buckfield are in a deplorable condition. There are potholes in nearly all of the roads. There are uncovered drains, and there are some roads that are unpaved. Yes there are unpaved roads in Ocho Rios whether you believe it or not. Thus while the authorities continue to provide pristine roads and clean gullies in Downtown Ocho Rios, Uptown Ocho Rios continues to exist in squalor, filth and decadence. The member of parliament with responsibility for Ocho Rios, the councillor with responsibility for Ocho Rios and the mayor for St Ann’s Bay should all hang their heads in shame for what they have allowed Ocho Rios to become. The citizens of Ocho Rios also have themselves to blame for refusing to demand that the politicians they elect keep their promises to do the many things they promised to do during election time and which they failed to do leaving them to exist in a state of decadence. Until the citizens of Ocho Rios are brave enough to speak up and demand proper representation they will continue to remain in squalor, filth and decadence.