Rats ‘run things’ in Montego Bay

Rats ‘run things’ in Montego Bay

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, May 18, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Mayor of Montego Bay Councillor Homer Davis is calling on the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry to appeal to its members to dispose of their waste properly, as rats continue to overrun the western Jamaican city.

“There is no doubt that we have a challenge in Montego Bay as it relates to rodents. I am saying that as a city it didn’t just come up like that. It came about because of our behaviour, how we behave as a people. Our disposal of garbage is not being done in the best way. The restaurants are disposing their leftover food in a way in which it creates that (rodent) infestation. And so I am making this appeal through you Mr President (of the MBCCI),” Davis appealed.

“When you dispose of your waste in a way in which it contains leftover food, what you expect? What you expect?”

He was speaking at the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (MBCCI) monthly members meeting Wednesday evening.

Davis, who is also chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation, revealed that it had come to his attention that some unscrupulous jerk food vendors in the city have been dumping their leftover food into manholes.

“When the men on the street who do their jerk at nights [and] at the end whatever is left they just lift manhole (covers) and just throw it in there.

“At one point I said to my superintendent (of works) that we probably might have to weld them (manhole covers) but he said ‘Mr Mayor, if we weld them how our guys clean them,’” Davis said.

“Have you ever seen our guys cleaning those manhole? They lie down on their belly, them sit on their bottom and with some long shovels (made to clean those manholes), and [a lot of muck is taken out].”

Lennox Wallace, the chief public health inspector for St James, speaking at last month’s monthly meeting of the St James Municipal Corporation, called on the MBCCI to assist in addressing the improper solid waste disposal practice in the city.

“As far as the rodent-control programme goes in this parish, we’re in a bad state. I’m happy that the NSWMA (National Solid Waste Management Agency) and the municipal corporation have educated these business establishments, but what I would love to see is for the MBCCI to come on board in a positive way, because it is the businesses that are causing the problem,” Wallace stated.

“We have carried out the education programme, but as far as doing things differently, we’re not getting there with our businesses — so we ask those members (MBCCI) to speak with these businesses.”

During Wednesday’s MBCCI meeting, Davis also used the opportunity to call on the business community to give their business places a facelift.

“I would like to make this appeal to the Chamber here this [Wednesday] evening, to say to your members, transform your properties; it is not only used for the purpose of going in and making big bucks. I have no problem with that because I know that is what drives the economy and create wealth for people and give people opportunity, [but] fix up your business place, make your place look good. Put a coat of paint on your building,” he said.

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