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January 31, 2013
Star Features


 

Cool, cool Sligoville
Rasbert Turner, Star Writer



Police station

Blessed with a very cool temperature and green landscape and the title of Jamaica's first free village, residents of Sligoville, St Catherine, are very proud of their community.

The community, about 10 miles from Spanish Town, was named after the marquis of Sligo, governor of Jamaica in 1834. The residents were very laid-back and receptive residents, but like everywhere else, beset with certain lack of resources.

"We need to have piped water in the community, this is the biggest problem," Jacqueline Brown, a long-time resident of Sligoville, said. Her viewpoint was the cry of many who said they have to pay as much as $400 for a 52-gallon drum of water.

At the Sligoville Health Centre, community health aid Eldoris Benneth said she is proud of her community and the progress made but bemoans the lack of employment. "I am working here for 20 years and while things have improved, lack of employment has affected us," Benneth revealed.

Meanwhile, 74-year-old Ethlyn Rhooms said the community has several needs crucial to its development. "My ambition is to see a gas station build here, also a centre for training and commercial activities that can have the youth gain employment, " Rhooms said. She said her father, Philiman, was the first councillor for the Sligoville division and he would usually walk to Spanish Town to conduct business.

George Bailey, one of the many farmers in the district, was seen weeding his vegetable garden near the Sligoville Great House. He confidently boasts of his love for his community but says sometimes the economic benefits are not what he expects. This, he said, coupled with pilferage on his farm is sometimes a turn-off.

"I have been a farmer all my life. Although sometimes it's discouraging, this is what I do best. I sell my produce in the Spanish Town Market," Bailey said as he looked to the heavens and hoped the cloud would open up and send some rain.

Bailey, who plants cauliflower, pak choi, cabbage, corn, tomato and broccoli, said he used to raise animals also but decided to stop because of thieves.

At the Sligoville Police Station, it was revealed that praedial larceny is one of the biggest problems in the community. The police said there are also a lot of domestic disputes and other minor offences.

"I really like how the road is being fixed, as it used to mash up the front end of the vehicle dem," a taxi driver told The Star.


Left: A section of the Sligoville main road which was recently repaired after years of neglect. Work is still being done on some sections of the road. Right: Farm. - Rasbert Turner photos


Left: Eldoris Benneth, community health aid at the Sligoville Health Centre, makes a purchase from long-time resident Ethlyn Rhooms who sells there. Right: Resident Joan Lawrence shows some of the barrels of water she had bought from a truck.

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