Maxfield zinc removal project to lift community spirit
The residents of McDonald Lane on Maxfield Avenue, Kingston, are hoping a project to remove zinc fences from their community will ignite a sense of pride in their children as they seek to elevate themselves to higher socio-economic class.
Robert Watt, 48, who has resided in the community since he was 18 years old, told THE STAR that the zinc fences depict poverty that he doesn't believe is in his community, and its removal will cause the children to do better in school.
"When you have the wall fence, children will do better in school, because the old zinc fence mek it look like them inna poverty and nuh poverty nuh inna my community," Watt said.
"It will motivate them to work harder and also uplift the value of the community and mek the environment better."
Kemeisha McCarty, a 35-year-old mother, shared similar sentiments: "This will build up their spirits and help them to do better in school because based on how the place will look, it will give you a more comfortable feeling of the area that you live in.
"You have children who go to KC (Kingston College) and those schools, so now they can relate to them more because you have similar construction in your area."
DILAPIDATED FENCE REMOVAL
The zinc fence removal project is being funded by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF). The first phase of the project was completed over five years ago with the erection of a concrete fence on the main street in the community. The second phase will see the removal of the dilapidated fence from the lanes in the community.
Floyd Forbes, who had left the community before the first phase of the project began, said projects like these will cause a lot of residents to return to the community.
"When some people come back from foreign or who move out to other areas, dem can see that it is not like first time," Forbes said. "Mi did move, too, and see mi back here, so it really good still."
JSIF is to spend over $260 million on a Zinc Fence Removal project in 11 inner-city communities in six parishes. The agency says zinc fences poses a barrier to effective policing and, therefore, their removal will improve visibility for both residents and security officials.