Residents relocate to access basic amenities

January 02, 2019
Jemeliea Bailey from Epping Forrest in Manchester.
Fenney Bailey and his wife Esther paint their house in Epping Forest, Manchester.

In order to have access to things like road, water and light, some residents in an area known as Epping Forest in Comfort Hall, Manchster, have been forced to relocate to another section of the community.

Jemeliea Bailey and her parents moved to the front of the community three years ago because they were able to access the basic amenities.

"Even though we are living here now, where we have access to the road, we still have it rough getting home. I'm sure you saw a lot of potholes while coming up. That is why a lot of persons don't want to drive come up. Nobody want to mash up the vehicle," she told CENTRAL STAR.

Bailey attends a teachers' college in Mandeville, Manchester, and she told our news team that her daily transportation cost is between $800 and $900 and she has to walk miles in between.

"I have to get up like 4 a.m. every day to reach school at 7:30 a.m. I have to get up very early and walk down to the entrance - all the way down there where it says Epping Forest. That is where I get the first taxi, and it depends on what time I get a taxi to reach school," she said.

Her father, Fenney Bailey, told our news team that all the houses built at the front of the community belong to persons who moved from the back.

"Because of the disconnect, persons have to migrate from where they once lived to come out. Persons have to move out of the deeper Epping Forest and come up here because of the poor infrastructure. There is no road, there is no access to electricity and water. Even though we live here now, we still don't have access to water. So, if no rain, no water," he said.

His daughter told our news team that she is grateful for the recent efforts to fix the roadway, but more should be done.

"The road is building now. I am grateful for it, but honestly, we would want it to stretch down to the church. We have people living out here who attend the church around there, but cannot walk or drive to it. We have night service, and there is no light up there. We have to be mindful of the time we living in and things that are happening," she said.

Esther Bailey, Jemeliea's mother, added: "When there is sickness or death around there, we haffi carry dem out, and it getting difficult. We had to move to get more access so we can have it a little easier."

The Baileys have been living at their current address in Epping Forest for almost three years, but say they miss their old location.

"We live here 'bout three years now, but our farm and old house is still around there. Every day we have to go back round there. We go church round there same way. Every day I am around there a do mi farming, raise mi pig dem and animals. If we did have proper roads, money woulda save and deh bout for other things. We build house round deh and haffi lef it come here come build again. That money could use to do other else things," the husband said.

They, however, anticipate that one day a road will be built so residents can finally access the entire community.

The wife said: "Yes, because a lot of people are still around there, and those who are away and would want to come back and build up the community can do so.

"The money we took to buy this land and build this new home, we could have more money to do other things and school our children properly. That is the stress we have to go through. The road is not hard to cut, somebody nah do them job. It is like nobody business with us," she added.

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