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VIDEO: August Town turns to water war to bring back the vibes

By Jason Cross
Observer staff reporter
crossj@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, April 26, 2021

Jamaicans under stress from the novel coronavirus pandemic and the shutdown of social events are turning more and more to innovative forms of entertainment. This was evident in August Town, St Andrew, yesterday as adults and children engaged in a full-fledged water war in the section of the community known as Goldsmith Villa.

During a tour of the area yesterday, a team from the Jamaica Observer drove onto a battleground, unlike the bloody ones encountered in the past.

This time, instead of the anguish, the war brought smiles and good cheer to both the participants and those watching from a distance, as the competitors loaded bags with water, to be used as missiles, while others loaded buckets and any other container they could find to partake in the fun.

Sheldon Scott shared with the Observer that the idea came about as residents sought to find an activity that would bring joy and lift the spirit of the community from the doldrums, brought on by the negative impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, as well as cool the tensions among those who may have been harbouring resentment for their neighbours.

“We came up with the idea of a water war, because we want to bring back the community together. There is no [gun] violence, no war. I say a big thanks to the Observer fi pass through, stop and acknowledge wa a gwaan,” Scott said.

His relative, Suzanne Scott, added that, “With COVID and the lockdown, we just needed something to uplift the kids and our spirits. Sometimes we play a little football, netball and we say, 'Let everybody come together and enjoy themselves',” declared Suzanne.

Another member of the Scott family, Monique, said August Town residents generally aren't into gangsterism and usually promote activities geared towards ensuring peace and unity.

“We seh peace, love, joy and unity in the community. We nuh want no gangsterism.”

One resident, Tanise Osbourne, who described herself as a peace builder, said that unity was the message being promulgated in the community at this point and onwards.

“I am a social worker trying to build back the community. I am not too old to build back with the young people. Unity is what brings a community together,” said Osbourne.

A string of shootings in the August Town area last year pushed the Government to declare the community a zone of special operation (ZOSO).

The ZOSO has been in place since last July and the community has since seen a sharp reduction in violent crimes.