Bad roads sucking life from community

April 07, 2018
Lionel Rookwood/Photographer The post office in Cedar Valley is now closed.
Lionel Rookwood/Photographer Chase Bently (left) laments about the deplorable roads while Janiel Shaw poses for THE STAR.
Lionel Rookwood/Photographer The courthouse in the community is currently locked up.

Residents of Cedar Valley, St Thomas, are convinced that bad roads are squeezing the life out of their community.

So far, the post office and courthouse, which was refurbished just a few years ago, have all been abandoned, while the health centre only accepts prenatal visits.

"Right now, court nah keep because of di road. No judge nah come because di road bad. The centre lock down because of di road, di junior high school lock down because of di road, and a Morant Bay wi haffi go fi wi letter cause di post office close down too," Gerald Graham told THE STAR.

Graham, 45, who has lived in the community all his life, said that Cedar Valley was once the entertainment capital of St Thomas.

But now, he contends that, the deplorable road conditions prevent them from having any events.

"Dem used to have party, fun day and night football league, but from last year rain fall, and di road get worse, [so] di man dem nah come up here again. Di man dem from Trinityville and Ramble say dem nah put dem car pon di road fi come up here, so it come in like di road a kill di community," he explained.

And after protesting and blocking the road on numerous occasions, community members have given up on their quest.

"Road a di main problem. Wi lobby, wi block road, [and] demonstrate, and nobody nuh hear wi. The last time wi demonstrate a last year October, and nothing nuh happen, so wi give up cause nobody nah listen to wi," he said.

Chase Bently, another resident of of the road has cause persons who are ill to lose their lives.

"If yuh sick and yuh fi go hospital, di road a go kill yuh before yuh reach a Morant Bay," he told THE STAR.

He argues that most vehicles cannot manage the roads.

"A likkle car man can't tek yuh up and go hospital. Dem haffi wait pon a SUV," he said.

And although Cedar Valley is only 17 miles from Morant Bay, Bently said that they have to pay $250 for bus fare. Sadly, there are times when they are stranded because of the roads.

"A five o'clock di bus dem stop run cause if a bus man up yah so four o'clock, him nah go back a Morant Bay again. So yuh see di pickney dem, a Trinityville dem haffi step (walk) from, all inna rain," he told THE STAR.

Things are so bad that bus drivers prefer to go to Westmoreland rather than making the trip from Morant Bay to Cedar Valley, says Juliann Forrester, another resident.

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