Jamaican News

Environmental Degradation In Cassava Piece, Jamaica

Contaminating Waterways and Gullies is a worldwide issue.

May 2, 2020 | By Hopeton O’Conner-Dennie |

It is a headache for public health and city officials to stem the practice of people using our waterways to dispose of their solid waste. The tossing of fecal matter in plastic bags has long been a shameful act and a public health issue. This is a cancer plaguing us in Jamaica also. When this happens it causes flooding and an eyesore down stream. We have to find a more sustainable way to use our land resources. With sea rising and global warming which is real, we have to find a new way, a better way and not the existing way to denigrate by this type of treatment to Mother Earth. No President Trump and UK PM Boris Johnson, the environment does matter. This concern is not garbage.


The National Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is the regulator and garbage disposal entity in Jamaica. It is run by the state.

The dumping of solid waste occurs all over, but mainly in unplanned communities, aka squatting on these gully banks. This is a real issue. These unplanned communities are all over our city. Rivers in other areas are not spared. Too many care little about what happens down stream.

Political Will

These unplanned communities did not like mushroom spring up over night. City officials seem to turn a blind eye of these developments. It suits them to take a soft approach. In most cases, as we are all aware, these folks are voters and without votes you cannot get state power.

See pictures of garbage being dumped in the Sandy Gully. That passes through Cassava Piece, a well known an unplanned community in Jamaica.
This situation is not unique to Jamaica. It is an international issue.


In India they complain about their rivers being polluted.


The world famous St. Lawrence water way that washes among other places the banks of Montreal, Quebec is being contaminated with oil spillage and garbage from navigation which use the river course daily.


The disposal of used car batteries and related lead products are not just environmental hazards, but could lead to health issues in children. Mental retardation has been mentioned in this regard.

Hazardous wastes like discarded parts from radio active products like TV and related electronic devices do find themselves in gullies and waterways.

We cannot continue much longer dumping irresponsibly in our water courses and gullies. This is an international issue. Many drink water and use same downstream for domestic purposes. Lives can be lost or impacted negatively in this way.

Let us clean up our act by paying closer attention to our environment. We all share this place to live in.
What is your perspective? This is yours? Feel free to disagree.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie has a special interest in environmental issues, is also Senior National & International Correspondent for Vision Newspaper.

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