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Dump disgrace - MoBay mayor, business leader call for urgent measures at Retirement landfill after major fire

Published:Monday | July 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMAdrian Frater/News Editor
Homer Davis

Montego Bay’s mayor, Councillor Homer Davis, is calling for improved security measures at the Retirement landfill in St James, which was the scene of a major fire last weekend, and resulted in some sections of the western city being blanketed with smoke until midday yesterday.

According to Davis, the time has come for unauthorised persons to be removed from the dump site and proper security measures put in place to prevent further intrusion by those whose actions might lead to future fires.

“In securing the dump, we will have to make the [surrounding areas] sterile,”  said Davis. “The dump needs to be secured by fencing, secured by surveillance cameras, and secured by the necessary security [manpower].”

In the fire last weekend, communities such as Retirement, Granville and Bogue Village were engulfed in thick smoke, creating health challenges for persons with respiratory illnesses.

It also affected commercial life as some business places were forced to close their doors. Wary of the fact that there might be  future  ccurrences, banker Winston Lawson, president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, yesterday called for a permanent fix of the situation.

“This is a matter that needs to be addressed immediately. We need to put a stop to it and we are asking not just for a temporary stop but a permanent stop", said Lawson.

Yesterday, tractors were quite active on the dump site under the supervision of National Solid Waste Management Authority personnel doing cover-up work to put out the fire. Trucks were also seen transporting marl and dirt to the dump site as part of the effort.

“ This matter needs to be addressed properly because every year we get one or two of these fires, and it is destroying the health of the residents,” said Marcia Brown, a resident of Retirement. “We have to move the hustlers from the dump because everybody knows that there is a link between them and these fires."