‘People think we live in a dump like dog’ - Riverton City residents complain about public perception
Residents from Riverton City, St Andrew, have one wish for 2020 - that Jamaicans 'put some respect' on them and their community.
They complained about painful years of ridicule and misjudgement they have faced just because of their location.
One resident, who goes by 'One Don', told THE STAR that he grew up in Riverton City, and life within the community is not how it is painted by the media.
"We haffi blame the media too, enuh ... cause anytime dem write bout Riverton, a rubbish and dutty meat alone dem a write bout. More deh ova here ... we have yutes weh a go university and a run dem own business. Big things a gwan ina we place ... people just nuh wah see it," he said passionately.
He added that when many people think of Riverton City, they think about the garbage dump. He clarifies, however, that they are not living among garbage.
"Despite weh people think ... Riverton a good good place. But people just have this view that Riverton is a big dump and dem have a certain view about the people dem over here. First thing, the dump deh way round a back ... close to over Portmore. Dem feel like me a bathe and sleep ina di dump. People think we live ina dump like dog."
Another resident says he has started his family in the community and they're doing fine.
"A yah suh me grow from me a likkle yute till me grow up and have my own yute dem. And nothing nuh do none a we ... we good! Me yute dem a go school and dem all right. But yuh see the outside people dem, dem feel like seh a bare waste people live in a Riverton. Dem think seh people in here a search rubbish fi get food like we a scabby," he said in a disgruntled tone.
He also said that residents don't have any problems there.
"The only time yuh see we a complain too tough a when dem light di dump. When dem light it, is a problem for children, old people and the people dem who have asthma. Other than that, everything all right," he said.
But Owayne said that the biggest problem in Riverton is violence.
"Yuh have a time when the man dem just blaze up and a kill. Di man dem all a rob dem own people.
Dem deh man deh nuh waan look work and earn nothing fi dem self, so dem a go do dem ting deh. A dat alone a rock we community. People might have it seh a di rubbish a we biggest problem, but a really crime, like the rest a Jamaica," he said.