Discovery Bay residents fight for Peach Beach
Discovery Bay Community Development Committee (CDC) members protested in the streets of the St Ann town on Saturday against alleged attempts by developers to take over the Peach Beach in the parish.
The CDC represents communities such as Discovery Bay, Lakeside, Old Folly, Dairy, Farm Town and Dumbarton.
“We are here because if we lose Peach Beach the locals will not have a beach in Discovery Bay," Lee Arbouin, organiser of the protest, said.
President of the Discovery Bay CDC Lee Arbouin.
Carl Gilchrist photos
"We are appealing to Red Cross, which manages Peach Beach, not to lease it to big business but to work with us, with Tourism Enhancement Fund, with government, to develop the beach so that locals will have a beach that is affordable and clean,” Arbouin said.
Peach Beach in on a stretch which includes the Puerto Seco Beach, Member’s Beach and Fisherman’s Beach. Puerto Seco Beach, the most popular of the beaches, is no longer free to the public. It is now being managed by the Guardsman Group, which is led by Kenneth Benjamin.
"We need our voices to be heard. ... The children need the beach for healthy recreation; the elderly need the beach to keep strong; the sick and the wheelchair bound use the beach as part of their recuperation from illness. We need our beach," Arbouin said.
“Today is Peach Beach, tomorrow it will be another beach, and before long we Jamaicans will be walking around looking at the sea and not being able to get in it, except we go for a rocky bit,” he added.