DESPITE complaints by residents for over a decade, the stench of blood mixed with raw sewage continues to permeate the air of some areas in central Kingston.

Those affected have claimed that their cries for help have fallen on deaf ears and are appealing to operators of a poultry plant near Cross Roads in St Andrew to once and for all invest in better ways of disposing blood, feathers and other chicken parts, other than flooding gullies which run through numerous communities with the waste.

They also appealed to the National Water Commission (NWC) to assist them in preventing a pipe from frequently ejecting raw sewage into a gully in the vicinity of North Street and James Street, which causes a harsh stench as it runs its course to the sea.

Efforts yesterday to secure comments from the NWC and the poultry company in question on whether they were willing to accept any responsibility or suggest a solution to the problem, were unsuccessful.

One elderly woman who identified herself as Miss Blanche, who lives on Text Lane, told the Jamaica Observer that she reached her breaking point on the issue when her great-grandson, who visited her from overseas, vowed never to return to her home due to the scent from a gully nearby.

“A likkle bwoy, mi great grandson, come from foreign inna mi yard yah, and him seh him nah come back yah because mi yard stink – and my yard can never stink. Dem call mi from foreign and seh him seh, him naa come back. Plenty people complain bout it.

“When di chicken water come from up suh, wi can’t even catch wi breath een yah. Years upon years, people complain. A nuh me alone. Plenty people go up there to them. Di scent trouble everybody on yah,” she expressed.

On James Street, where a gully runs through an area called Bridge View, Junior Lawson had no more patience left in him, as he not only has to hold his breath regularly, but mosquitoes plague children and the elderly.

“The bloody water and the feathers coming down mek we feel like we woulda vomit and all those things. When the water come down it smell very bad and we can’t even stomach our breath down here with it for years and years. They have to do something towards it. It is running down into the sea. All these things we have been facing for a long, long period of time, many years now. The people dem sit down there at evening time breezing out and they have to fly inside because a lot of stinking scent will kill dem. If it is not chicken water, it’s sewage.”

Another James Street resident, Tamara, said she was tired of having to cook amidst the stench.

“All my life I live here. Sometime dem leggo the stinking water with feather, faeces and blood. Sometimes the bloody water raw and you can smell it from afar. A right a North Street deh suh it a come from, out a pipe. We alone down here a face it. Sometimes mi head hurt mi. You a cook all you food inna dem stench yah, and dat nuh right. See all di baby dem right yah suh. Especially pon weekend, di place stink bad. You can stay from Hanover Street and smell it.”

Her neighbour, Danny, said: “You have a time when the scent just rise and you have to lock windows and lock doors. Nobody ever come and adjust the problem”.

Ansel Lee, who has been championing the cause to have the problem remedied over many years, said he has taken pictures and has made video recordings of the issue on many occasions and has forwarded these to the authorities responsible for protecting the environment, but despite years worth of visits to asses the issue, nothing has been done and the people are beyond frustrated.

“Sometimes mi see chicken blood and parts too. I have been to the National Environment Planning Agency [NEPA] and I have been to the public health inspectors, and dem actually visit the poultry establishment and all dem seh is dat dem a go investigate. Fi years now.

“The authorities told me that in order for them to enter sewage into the gully, they must get special permission. I don’t know if they get permission every day. Right here is raw sewage. On this side you can see more of the feathers here. The stench is very rude. You can see evidence of the chicken feathers.

“The poultry company must accept some responsibility and stop entering chicken water into the sewage. NWC need to get them to move the chicken water into some private containers. The raw sewage needs to stop entering the gully. I carried a lady from the Jamaica Environment Trust to the gully bottom of Text Lane and she turned back because of the stench. Mi agree seh di people dem throw rubbish inna di gully and dem nasty, but when di chicken water let go, is like di people get justification fi throw everything inna di gully,” Lee told the Sunday Observer.

Jamaica Observer