Liberate the beach!

Liberate the beach!

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

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Dear Editor,

I am appealing to Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the National Housing Trust (NHT) to give the Jamaican people “Independence Beach Park”, similar to the Emancipation Park. This has become necessary since the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), which is responsible for the development of Government-owned properties in Jamaica, including beaches, is more concerned about the development of beaches for affluent Jamaicans and wealthy private interest groups, while ordinary Jamaicans are slowly being excluded from our beaches.

There are four adjacent beach properties within the vicinity of Roaring River in St Ann, none of which ordinary Jamaicans are allowed to use, at least not legally. The first is Pearly Beach, which is owned and operated by the UDC and is used only for private events. The adjacent property to the right is also owned by UDC and is used only for private events. Next is the Laughing Waters property, which has access to the wonderful Roaring River and beach, and again ordinary Jamaicans are excluded, as this property is only used for private events. To the left of this property is an undeveloped property which many Jamaicans use to access the Roaring River and beach. Jamaicans worldwide are known for their resilience and determination and this is necessary to access the Roaring River and beach, because to gain access ordinary Jamaicans have to climb down a precipitous terrain to access the beach. They brave it nonetheless.

It is very unfortunate that ordinary Jamaicans are not able to access the latter beach and river in a civilised and humane manner when the three developed beach properties are reserved for more affluent Jamaicans. I am therefore calling on the prime minister and the NHT to liberate us and provide Jamaicans with a clean, safe, and well developed beach facility similar to Emancipation Park. It doesn't have to be free, but certainly not with the pricing and restrictions of the Puerto Seco Beach.

Let's celebrate Independence Day with Independence Beach Park for all Jamaicans.

Kemmehi Lozer


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