Regional

Bogue Hill gets $15m resource centre

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer West writer

Thursday, September 14, 2017

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Member of Parliament for St James West Central Marlene Malahoo Forte has highlighted the need for residents to utilise their community centres.

Addressing the recent opening ceremony for the $15-million Bogue Community Development Council Community Resource Centre, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Malahoo Forte noted that there are many community centres islandwide that are not being utilised.

“I have taken note and done an audit of the number of community centres that have sprung up at some time or the other, that are not being utilised, not being maintained, and yet, the need to have somewhere for members of the community to meet remains critical,” she argued.

“So this (Bogue Community Development Council Community Resource Centre) is a resource that you asked for. This is a resource that is required for the community, so now that it is here we must utilise it,” she said.

Malahoo Forte also expressed the hope that in the future resource centres will not have to be secured with burglar bars.

“I look forward to the time when a resource centre like this does not have to be locked in by grilles out of fear that someone is going to break in and take away what is provided for everyone to use. every member of the community must understand that he or she owns the community resource centre and so must protect it,” she emphasised.

And the MP noted that plans to construct the community centre have been in the making before she was elected as the member of parliament for the area last year.

She pointed out, however, that a number challenges had prevented the project from coming to fruition.

“Mr (Melvin) Ottey (president of the Bogue Community Development Committee) and the team got a runaround. When they thought they had made progress in one area, something else acted up,” she noted.

Ottey, who was instrumental in the creation of the community centre and other programmes in the community, such as Bogue United Youth Club in 1976, said the community centre is the most significant aspect of development for the area since 1932.

He added that the community will be moving in earnest to have the area transformed into what he described as a first-class community.

Meanwhile, USAID acting mission director Rebecca Robinson said her organisation views the success of the investment partnership between the US government and the people of the community by how much the facility is taken care of and utilised.

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