Jamaica at 55 : Independence City treated like it's 'independent' of government help

August 04, 2017
Charmaine Barrett a resident of Independence city speaks on the community's name in relation to Jamaica's independence.
Oliver Steele
Independence City Primary School

Residents of Independence City, the first community to be built in Portmore, St Catherine just after Jamaica gained independence, said the name of their community has caused their political representatives to shun their concerns as they are perceived to be independent of the Government.

"People over here supposed to be all right, even politicians believe that," said Charmaine Barrett, who has been living in the community for more than 20 years. "We bear a good name and a heavy load with it - a great responsibility."

Barrett said her reason for believing this is because of an incident she encountered back in 2007 after Hurricane Dean.

"The disaster damage the roof and wet up a mattress and I put up my name to get a mattress to sleep on and all now," Barrett told THE WEEKEND STAR. "And people from Gregory Park, Waterford and other area get."

Barrett said the smooth roads and well groomed lawns throughout the community make visitors believe that everyone who resides there are well off.

"Dem mek it seems as if poor people don't live over here and mi poor same way," Barrett said.

Barrett said the community is deteriorating since many of the original homeowners sold their properties and have moved on to bigger things.

"Maybe when it breaks down they will deal with us better," Barrett said. "Not because we live in Independence City (it means) we are all independent."

Another resident, Oliver Steele, chimed in: "They even call it the fruitful side. Maybe that's why they think we all right."

The residents said they hope from now on, their concerns will be attended to like all ordinary Jamaicans who are a part of this independent nation.

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