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CB promises to probe, fix wastewater problem

Rose gardens residents say stench unbearable

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Caribbean Broilers has promised to investigate claims by residents of Rose Gardens in Kingston that industrial wastewater from its plant on Arnold Road is causing them great discomfort and posing a health risk.

“We have a reputation of being good corporate citizens and we take each complaint seriously,” the company's Corporate Affairs Manager Keith Amiel told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

“We will investigate what could have happened, and if there was a break in the system that may have caused this, we will correct it forthwith,” Amiel added.

The newspaper had contacted Amiel after residents showed the news team reddish liquid with what appeared to be chicken feathers flowing in the Barnes gully that runs beneath North Street, in the vicinity of St George's College, and into the community.

“Sometimes a tripe, feathers and chicken head you see in there. Dem cyaan say a nuh dem, the feather dem give dem weh. You shoulda come in the night, about seven o'clock, when the breeze stop blow, it worse!” one resident, who asked not to be named, exclaimed while sitting on a bench on James Street.

Norman Evans, who was going about his business but seized the opportunity to speak upon seeing the Jamaica Observer vehicle, said the stench is “unbearable”.

He said he has been buying excess amounts of Fabuloso to combat the stench.

“One day I was tending to my garden when I saw the water coming at a speed; it red like mi car break light. Mi cyaan tek it no more; It a kill me,” added Evans, who said he has been living in the community for 44 years.

He issued an appeal to the National Environment and Planning Agency to investigate the matter and emphasised that the residents do not want to stage a demonstration, but they may be forced to do so.

Another resident, Christopher Green, who was among the group of men that complained bitterly about the stench, said it has been happening for years.

Ansel Lee joined Evans' call for an investigation by the authorities, while 68-year-old Bunny Marshall, who said has never lived anywhere else, admitted that he was often embarrassed by the stench when he has visitors.

Roadside cook Eric “Tony” Gregory, who sells jerked chicken and pork on James Street on weekends, said the stench from the water has put a damper on his business.

Gregory said he, too, has seen feathers, necks and other chicken parts in the gully.

“Dem need to investigate. We know it a happen bout four to five years now,” he said.

Amiel, who had displayed a bit of reticence when he spoke to the Observer, said: “I don't know if there is anything else to say, but before the day is out we will meet with the managers that are on the road and try to ascertain what could have happened, and to instruct that the necessary corrective measures be put in place.”