Neglect hurting the Hip Strip

August 22, 2017
Montego Bay's Hip Strip

Some vendors who work along the Hip Strip say that the St James Municipal Corporation and other relevant authorities have not done enough to guarantee proper sanitation to protect the health of persons who visit and work in the area.

"This is the main issue on the Hip Strip, and the problem needs to be regulated," said Loraine Shaw, who is a licensed vendor in the area.

"Whenever it rains, all the water in the drains, the sewage and all things dirty come up and go across into the sea. The authorities need to recognise and deal with the issue. Tourism is not just about taking money from foreigners, but it is also about hospitality, health, and everything that goes along with getting money," Shaw added.

The people in the area said that many of the shops and buildings in operation along the Hip Strip have rats, roaches, and other pests crawling in and out.

"The public health inspectors need to come in and deal with the sewage line, garbage, and the polluted water being disposed from the building because all that water is going to the beach," said another woman, who wished for anonymity, told Western Star.

"All they are talking about is building this and that while not dealing with the real problem: the nastiness. Out here is not clean, and they need to get out there clean before the worst happens," she added.

The St James Health Department recently revealed plans to implement a major rodent-baiting exercise along Gloucester Avenue to deal with the growing infestation. To facilitate this initiative, the health department said that it would be asking vendors, particularly vendors of jerk chicken, to vacate the area.

But vendor Fredrick Allen, said locals, especially those who use the beach, are also to be blamed for the rodent infestation.

"I put garbage bags on the trees on the beach every day, but the natives don't use them and just throw their KFC, Burger King, plastic bottles, and even Pampers anywhere they feel," said Allen.

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