Help us! - vendors say deplorable arcade causing slow sales

August 30, 2017
Payne shows the roof of the arcade is in desperate need of repairs.
Andrew Payne, president of the Pearnel Charles Vendors Committee points to a makeshift drain to carry away water when it rains.
The water in these drums are used in the bathrooms at the arcade as there is no running water.

Vendors in the Pearnel Charles Arcade are fed up with the slow pace at which issues affecting their livelihood is being addressed.

Infrastructural damages, chief among them a major roof issue, which, according to the vendors, span two Kingston mayoral changes, is of great concern.

When it rains, stalls are flooded and stagnant water settles, which may soon lead to a dire health epidemic.

Andrew Payne, president of Pearnel Charles Vendors Committee, told THE STAR that he has sought audience with the current mayor Delroy Williams on at least two occasions.

"We always notice that the mayor, him go west, him go south, and him go north a Parade, all now him nuh come east. Other arcades are being attended to so we need them to look here," Payne said.


Drainage system


He said a large fire that engulfed the arcade, took place when Dr Angela Brown Burke was mayor and it destroyed a section of the roof.

"It affects everyone. When it fall, ya so flood right out and mash up the people dem," Payne said.

The drainage system in the arcade was also a concern, so the vendors dug a makeshift drain to help channel the water.

"That (drain) kinda give a little, minuscule relief. The thing is enuh, we are not mounting an attack so to speak. We are more concerned about what's going to happen for us. What's the development plan. We keep hearing that things a go happen, but let us know when. Give us something nuh," Payne said.

Sandra, a vendor, said sales are being affected.

"Look how ina the market dead. Nobody is buying. We need this to be addressed right now. People nah come ina the arcade," said Sandra.

Sandra said she felt that a blind eye is being turned on their issues.

She said: "Is like because the arcade name Pearnel Charles and him nuh dead why dem nuh business with we. Yea, some a we owe pan the rent and ting, but the mayor need fi come here and talk to we. Him come as near as the market over there, but all now we can't see him. I don't even know weh him name."

The dull look on the faces of the vendors, many staring blankly, underlined the general mood inside the arcade.

Vendors told THE STAR that the usually busy back-to-school period was nothing to talk about, as nothing is happening on their side of the town.

THE STAR tried without success to speak with Williams, as repeated calls to his cell phone and office went unanswered.

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