“We can’t take this any longer, it is extremely bad!” These are the words of a disgruntled Dianne Dixon of Pearlene Stream in East Central St. James, who is just one of many residents taking Member of Parliament, Edmund Bartlett, and Councillor Uvel Graham to task for what they say is the dreadful condition of the roads in the community.
“This has been ongoing for decades, nobody seems to care about us. Despite our numerous appeals, we are neglected and not on the radar of either the Member of Parliament or the councillor, the works agency or anybody, we simply don’t matter, or seem to exist,” Dixon said.
The residents bemoaned the fact that taxi operators have flatly refused to ply that route, arguing that they do not have roads to drive on and chancing to drive on this rugged pathway would mean extreme damage to their vehicles.
“We don’t have roads. If there was any road, it does not exist anymore. What we have now is a rugged, jagged track that has large stones jutting out, that make it difficult for the elderly and very young to use. It is affecting every aspect of life – people going to work, people coming home and children going to school all have problems,” she explained.
Miss Dixon says concerns continue to heighten as residents fear that should there be a medical emergency in the area, no ambulance or any other emergency vehicle would be able to travel to the community to deal with that urgent matter.
Kaye Brown, who recently convened the Pearlene Stream Citizens’ Association, echoed similar sentiments, adding that the deplorable road conditions continue to be a major deterrent to other infrastructure improvement that the community so desperately needs.
“We have an aging population here and no ambulance or any other vehicle would come here should there be a medical emergency. The nearest health centre is at Adelphi, which is more than seven miles away; this is not good. The road has not been fixed now for more than 30 years.”
She says while she has been in contact with some residents living overseas, who would want to return home to retire, they are wary because of the concerns being expressed by those who are living there now.
“I personally made contact with the Councillor for the area, Mr. Graham, and he has not responded to the concerns. We would like to undertake some projects; we need a health centre and a community centre where we can organize activities to engage the youth and also the elderly. We would like to do this with assistance from the politicians and others, but they are not responding to us.”
She says they are having a crisis and no one seems to care.
“This is an infrastructure issue not a political one. We cannot have prosperity with these bad roads, people need ease of travel to get to and from work and that is not possible under the present circumstances. This has gone on for far too long. Please, please fix the road, that is what we ask and then we can work on the other matters,” pleads Miss Brown.