Community Focus: Keep the Mt Salem ZOSO - Some residents don't want security forces to leave

April 24, 2018
Recent graduates from the current tiling and basic construction programme brought on by ZOSO in Mt Salem.

Some residents of Mount Salem are concerned that the peace and unity being experienced since the zones of special operations (ZOSO) started last year September could end when the extension concludes.

But others are expressing confidence that this can be the new norm for the once trouble community.

Those who spoke to the WESTERN STAR outlined that they are enjoying the life that they have longed for in Mt Salem and can now only hope the people will keep it together once the security forces finally leave the community.

"Much of what used to take place in Mt Salem not happening again, and I am talking about the young people hanging out on the road, the killings," said Sophia Clarke. "I don't know what some might be planning after all this, for we know not what is in their hearts, but we can only hope things remain as they are."

Some residents, however, completely dismissed the idea that the community would revert to a state of anarchy at the end of the ZOSO.

According to them, much good has happened, with more to come, in Mt Salem for the people and the community to let down St James and Jamaica.




"I believe things will remain as it is now because HEART came in and trained young men and women, and they will be employed," said Lisa Blair. "You have youths already at hotels doing watering. So they have jobs, and if they have jobs, they will have money and can enjoy themselves."

Another resident, who identified herself only as 'Dawn', had similar sentiments.

"Where the community is right now I can only tell the young people to continue on the same trend. You can feel the unity, and me a build up the wish, the hope, and ask Father God to make it remain the same. How it is right now is like the Mt Salem I born and grow up in. Those time I could walk go anywhere and feel good, and that is what is happening again," Dawn explained.

However, Ralston Brown is not so optimistic, noting that although he can now sleep with his doors open, he knows that will not be the case once ZOSO is gone.

"Some of them (the people) have their plan and thinking," said Brown. "So I hope the authorities can do what they can to ensure the peace remains because some of them no want nothing good. I see programmes being held and hardly anyone coming."

Brown continued: "When I was a boy, we used to have two men ride around on them bicycle, and when them see a youth on the street, you have to tell why you not in school and your parents have to come get you and tell why you nuh go school."

He added: "People might think it is old fashioned, but we want to bring back some of these things. I hope the Government considers it and nuh bother just leave so."

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