Please, save Pisgah!

Letters to the Editor

Please, save Pisgah!

Monday, August 10, 2020

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Dear Editor,

The following is an open letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Member of Parliament J C Hutchinson:

In my memoir, Another Mother, I recount my journey to explore the Jamaican roots of Dezna Sanderson, my childhood nanny. That quest inevitably entailed visiting her native St Elizabeth, first with Maxine, her eldest daughter, and a charismatic renaissance man and driver named Edney James (best known to the people of those hills as Dragon).

Sure, the emotional terrain I traversed in my journey was rough, but the road to Pisgah, where Dezna raised her children, is downright treacherous. There is a growing movement to highlight the danger and disrepair of the road to Huntley Castle, Ginger Hill, and Pisgah from Claremont in north-west St Elizabeth, and a call for expeditious repairs and reconstruction. I wanted to voice my support for this initiative and highlight the urgency of the matter.

This is beautiful pineapple country, lush, and Edenic, but the farmers — who are the lifeblood of this community — need to be able to transport their bounty to market safely. The elderly and infirm need to be able to travel safely to the hospital in Black River. Ultimately, the vibrant people in these communities are hard-working and just want to see their tax dollars at work. The serpentine thoroughfare is the result of decades of neglect, poses an unfair threat to residents, and is a liability for local businesses.

It is heartening to see Jamaica work to realise its Vision 2030 National Development Plan, but it must also implement change for the rural communities in the immediate future. The state of the road certainly made chapter 5 of my book more exciting as I gripped my seat through the bumps and blind turns, but the community doesn't need a harrowing adventure as it goes about daily life.

Ross Kenneth Urken

rurken@gmail.com


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