'Man a go nyam man' in Clarendon - Residents fear Monymusk closure

by

March 30, 2016
Persons who cut sugar cane in the field at the Monymusk Sugar Estate are worried that Chinese-owned estate could be shut down.
Horace Fisher Soup vendor, Patrick 'Soupy' Malcolm, say the recent redundancies at Monymusk has impacted his business and believes the closure will completely wipe him out.
Horace Fisher A cyclist rides his bicycle through the streets of Lionel Town, Clarendon which residents fear will become a ghost town if the nearby Monymusk sugar factory is closed.
Horace Fisher Shandanan Barnes, who is a seasonal worker at Monymus,k and who lives on the bank of a canal that transport waste water from the sugar factory, complained that the stench enaminating from the canal is unbearable.
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'Man a go nyam man' in Clarendon

- Residents fear Monymusk closure

Horace Fisher

STAR Writer

Pan-Caribbean Sugar Company, which owns Monymusk, has said it could shut down its loss-making factories.

This has sent communities in Southern Clarendon into disquiet. A Clarendon taxi operator has warned of dark days in the parish should the Monymusk Sugar Factory be closed.

"Remember, me a tell you this today. If them close Monymusk, man a go nyam man," Veron Bandoo said.

The Government said it is seeking private sector investment for the ailing Monymusk, after the Chinese-owned Pan Caribbean signalled it would be pulling out of sugar production.

For Bandoo and other residents, Monymusk closing would be an economic Armageddon.

"When Monymusk workers get pay, a right here so [Lionel Town] them spend it, so everybody, taxi men, shops, and bars nice," Bandoo told The STAR. He said Monymusk is the largest employer of labour in the south of Clarendon, employing hundreds of factory and field workers directly and indirectly.

economic meltdown

He argued that the factory is the live blood of the area, and the closure would be an economic meltdown. "So I am warning the Government that them better do everything ... , including taking it over from the 'Chiney' to keep it open. Because if the 'Chiney' close it, a now you would a see crime down here," Bandoo said.

Businesswoman Arlene McMasters said the once vibrant Lionel Town and surrounding communities have been experiencing a downturn in economic activities for years with the corresponding downturn in sugar and a comparative uptick in crime.

"Look, we don't have a bank operating here anymore. That is to show you the scope of the problem ... so the closure of the factory didn't start yesterday, it just catch up with us. But if they eventually close the factory, trust me, that would be a major man-made disaster," the snack shop operator said.

Joseph 'Shorty' Patterson, who has been a crane operator at the factory since 1994, said that Monymusk is responsible for the entire Vere area.

"If the factory closes, the whole a Vere would become a ghost town ... So I am begging the Government to please do everything to keep the factory from closing," Patterson said.

Patrick 'Soupy' Malcolm, a soup vendor in the area, said that "if them close it, a hell down here a Vere".

"A little soup me juggle, and a lot of Monymusk workers me sell to, so if them close the factory me lose my customers. So me a ask the Government, even if them have to take over the factory, make sure it don't close down or a worries down here," he said.

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