Life is better in Hague Heights - Residents happy with relocation
Hague Heights residents say that their lives have been transformed since they were relocated approximately eight years ago from a life of squalor on a dumped-up swampland close to the old Falmouth Market in Trelawny.
In 2013, the Government, through the Housing Agency of Jamaica, in partnership with Food For The Poor, built 31 wooden houses and facilitated the relocation of approximately 130 householders out of the slum they once called home for several years.
According to one female resident, life for her is now at an all-time high now that she is living in Hague Heights, located just outside the town of Falmouth. She said that her current living condition is a major improvement over the unsanitary environment she lived in for years.
“There is a level and sense of independence among the people living here,” she told WESTERN STAR. “For those of us who were not provided with a house from the Government or Food For The Poor, [we] work and built our houses.”
“Life here is much better. We are comfortable, and we are able to do our little backyard garden and make ourselves at home.”
Another male resident noted that his life has changed since being relocated.
“I am now able to get a good and refreshing bath, do my laundry, and prepare a decent meal in my own home,” he said.
Meanwhile, Desmond Donegal and Glassford ‘Shag Rice’ Ogle are just two of several other persons in the community who ensure that the residents are able to access their basic grocery needs and gather for entertainment gigs.
Donegal, or ‘Koko’, as he is popularly called in the parish, operates a one-stop grocery store, providing just about everything the residents need. There is also a bar at the location.
“Look at all these goods, I have everything. The residents come here to get their needs supplied,” Donegal told WESTERN STAR.
And when it’s time to unwind, the residents can turn to Ogle’s spot that overlooks the beautiful Caribbean Sea.
“This community is 100 per cent better than the dump. Living on the dump was ‘chuck-up, chuck-up’, with no sanitary facility, and there was only one standpipe there. But since being relocated to up here, it is just greatness,” said Ogle.
“These days I am living comfortably in my own home, with paved roads, access to potable water and electricity. Apart from a comfortable home, I operate the Shag Rice Lawn, catering to the entertainment needs of the residents in the community,” he said.