Clarendon North Central residents want ‘just a little help’ from their next MP

Clarendon North Central residents want ‘just a little help’ from their next MP

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-Large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, August 10, 2020

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THE familiar cries from residents of several rural communities across the island are being echoed by those in Clarendon North Central as they prepare to elect a new Member of Parliament to replace Pearnel Charles Sr, who has indicated that he is done with representational politics, having held the seat since 2002.

With the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) newcomer to representational politics Robert Nesta Morgan and returning candidate Dr Desmond Oliver Bryan of the People’s National Party (PNP) set to square off in the must-win constituency in the next general election, the constituents, on both sides of the political divide, have a simple message for the winner, “We need help”.

Ian Stone, a long-time resident of Beckford Kraal in the constituency, spoke for his neighbours when he told the Jamaica Observer, “Help we, because a that we need most right now, nothing more.”

According to Stone, the residents of his community have long begged their political representative for piped water, better roads and a community/sports centre without success.

“Every year Mr Charles come with the same thing and through him sure that him going to win all the while him do nothing. Because him can shut him eye and know say him win a Beckford Kraal because Beckford Kraal a Labourite community and Mr Charles a Labourite and still him nah help Beckford Kraal,” charged Stone, who said he has lived in the community for 48 years.

In Mocho, residents were welcoming a new water supply system when the Observer visited last Tuesday but they argued that would provide relief for only one of the issues which they want their next MP to address.

Daisy Allen, a 76- year-old resident of Mocho, pointed to a dilapidated and abandoned police station as a sign that the community, where residents survive by farming, burning coal and “hustling”, needs help

She was supported by “Kremlin Stoner” who has lived in Mocho for some 25 years.

“Right now Mocho want even a one little factory or two little factories just to do some little exporting or some little thing to develop the community and mek the people better,” said Stoner, who operates a small shop when he is not on the overseas work programme.

Stoner argued that the first thing the new MP must do for Mocho is to establish a factory.

“The communities big and there are many communities here so if you put a factory in one little point it would make a big difference,” declared Stoner whose mother, Angela Booth, said the lack of employment opportunities in the constituency is a major problem.

Pastor Mervin Ward of the Mocho Road Church of God said members of his congregation want to see jobs for the youths and more lands being made available to those interested in going into farming.

“It is really hard and some of them are concerned about the water, especially people in the deeper rural areas they have to carry water. Development is taking place all across the world and they would like to see their community developed also,” said Ward.

In the section of the constituency known as Old Pound in the Blackwood area, angry residents, who have traditionally supported the JLP, said they could withhold their support from Morgan this time because they are angry with Charles for his failure to provide them with electricity.

“We don’t have any light at all and all we ask about it we can’t get any light. So we have a lot of problems with no light. Is a lot of Labourites live down here and if we nuh get light then no voting because it rough. All me special me a one real ‘Muma’ fi Labourite and we need help down there.

“We get road but the water is a problem and no light and the young people them have nothing to do, no jobs. Mr Charles used to come round and him stretch what him could do. Mi nah go be ungrateful because me get little help from Mr Charles but many people don’t get. Them mark out the light down there over and over and still no light. It come in like a hell we deh,” said Beverly Claire.

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