Develop our community too - Ferry residents
While the residents of Ferry are grateful for the expansion of the Mandela Highway, they are hopeful that the improvement of infrastructure will spread to their community.
With the residents living on land that is owned by the Urban Development Corporation, some of them who spoke to THE STAR say they are willing to pay for the land on which they have settled in order to get the improvements that they desire.
“All wi need a di place fi develop,” one resident, Cecil told THE STAR.
“Wi have teefing light and teefing water, but wi want fi get proper light and water and wi want to buy land too. Wi nuh want when the highway done, Government just come and push wi off a di land,” he told THE STAR.
While he spoke to our news team, a female resident who overheard what he was saying became outraged by the fact that he wanted the community to get legal electricity.
“Weh yah talk say? Wi willing fi pay fi the land, but wi nuh have no money fi pay light and water. Wi nuh have it! Weh wi a go get it from? Nuff a we nah work,” she shouted at him.
But Cecil was adamant that if their communities is to become a formal settlement, the residents have to get used to the idea of paying utility bills.
And soon, other residents who heard the conversation, rushed to support what he was saying.
“We haffi go start pay it (utilities) at some point. If wi want good road inna the community and street light wi haffi go start pay it. Wi can’t live free forever,” one woman said.
With no street lights in the community, the residents have created their own using incandescent light bulbs and plastic bottles, which they attach to a number of light poles as they say it is necessary in order to prevent robberies and rapes.
In a bid to ensure that the informal community is regularised so that the residents can call the land on which they live their own, Member of Parliament Anthony Hylton said that he has been making representation to Urban Development Corporation (UDC) on their behalf.
“There are a number of them that have moved on to the land which is owned by UDC and have been living there for a sufficient period of time,” he told THE STAR.
“With the whole construction that is going on, there needs to be a continuing discussion about how we formalise and regularise that community,” he said.
In particular, some of the residents have called for a football field, and Hylton believes one should be provided for them.
But with most of the community constructed on a hilly terrain, he said that there are not too many places in the community where a football pitch can be ‘marked out.’
“That doesn’t mean that one cannot be created, especially with those type of equipment that are working in the area,” he argues.
Once the roadway is finished, he believes that a China Harbour Engineering Company Limited should be approached to help with creating a community field.