Letters to the Editor

Smoke killing us

Monday, April 24, 2017    

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Dear Editor,

The lighting of fire in Jamaica is illegal. However, the relevant regulations are not enforced. Focus is usually placed on bush fires when; on the contrary, domestic fires and factory releases are affecting our health and the quality of air we are exposed to daily.

My partner and I purchased a house in Duhaney Park over five years ago. We have long agreed that this was a horrible investment. We have never enjoyed a smoke-free atmosphere for a week, much more a month. Every night and even during the days, the atmosphere is polluted by smoke and odours ranging from burning rubber, to trees used for coal and, of course, the dump.

Who can forget what happened in mid-March of 2015 when smoke blanketed pretty much the entire area due to a fire at the Riverton dump? My son has asthma and we had to endure the smoke for days. This resulted in several schools such as George Headley Primary, Edith Dalton James, Duhaney Park Primary being forced to close and guess what, these children left school and headed to homes filled with smoke.

The smoke spreads as far as Spanish Town Road, Patrick City, Washington Gardens, Cooreville Gardens and other communities.

One of the election promises made by the Jamaica Labour Party was to divest the dump. I have not heard anything regarding this recently. With so many residential communities in close proximity, the dump needs to be moved. Additionally, there needs to be stiffer penalties for people who continue to light fires and, most importantly, these penalties need to be enforced by the relevant authorities.

We are human, for heaven’s sake and not animals! We have purchased houses in these communities for crying out loud. The Government, police and NEPA are aware of this. In fact, NEPA did a report on polluted air and Spanish Town Road was found to have several air pollutants and poor air quality.

When will this issue be addressed?

Nardia Massey






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