The rural roads of Trelawny, in particular Hampden, are in a deplorable state and are in need of major rehabilitation.
Speaking at the official opening of the Lawrence F.C. Hussey rum-ageing warehouse facility on Hampden Estate, the member of parliament for Trelawny Northern, Tova Hamilton, vowed to continue lobbying for improvements to the communities’ road infrastructure.
“As the proud member of parliament of a constituency with the greatest potential for growth, I am always a willing participant at events of this nature,” Hamilton said.
“Why? Because businesses like these are the backbone of our country and benefit our communities significantly.
“They create job opportunities for locals, they allow money to circulate in the local economy, they help to build our communities by providing financial and infrastructure support. And while I am on the topic of infrastructure, you may notice that the community of Hampden is in dire need of road improvement and notwithstanding the fact that I have already made representation for some attention to be given to the community, I look forward to partnering with the Hampden team in ensuring that this initiative becomes a reality for residents.”
Speaking with Our Today, Hamilton said the cost to significantly improve the road network in the communities will be a very expensive project and therefore must be completed in phases so as to not put too much strain on the government’s coffers at a time when the country is both recovering from the COVID pandemic and rising global inflation.
In many instances, the road surfaces are completely worn away and are damaging to vehicles.
If Trelawny is to attract investment, then it will need better roads that can facilitate connectivity. This observation is not lost on Hamilton.
“You would have noticed on the drive into Hampden we have no roads and while I have already made some representations to the Government for this, I will be furthering my advocacy,” she told the audience at the ceremony which included Falmouth Mayor Colin Gager.
To rehabilitate the road from Falmouth to Springvale alone is estimated to cost around J$800 million, underscoring the need to take a phased approach.
An allocation of $200 million was made and procurement has been completed. A contract has been approved for work to begin on the Wakefield to Deeside leg. Once that is completed, Hamilton will then turn her focus on the road from Wakefield to Bounty Hall.
“It will take time for all this to be resolved but I am trying. My constituents expect the roads to be rehabilitated with little regard for me being elected as MP only two years ago. There has been no [meaningful] road rehabilitation here for some 40 years now. I take this road situation very seriously. Something must be done,” she said.
Hamilton welcomes Hampden’s new rum ageing facility and sees it as a necessary investment in the community.
The MP, who is a lawyer by profession, in her address declared: “Businesses like Hampden also help to build community identity. Hampden Estate has a rich Trelawny history and is one of the oldest sugar estates in Jamaica. It dates as far back as 1753, approximately 17 years before Trelawny was given parish status and was one of approximately 100 sugar estates in the parish that existed back then. Trelawny is renowned for having operated the most sugar estates and factories in Jamaica’s history. With Hampden still holding firm in 2022, there is a rich legacy that is afforded to the community and parish, which can be shared with the world and monetised for the shared prosperity of residents.
“In a time when global markets are experiencing economic shocks, this official opening and dedication of this rum ageing facility signals that Trelawny is open for business. Positive things are happening in our constituency.
“I am sure after today other businesses will be looking to Trelawny curiously, wondering why the renewed interest in this space and wanting anxiously to be a part of our recovery. We welcome your investment. Good things are happening in Trelawny Northern and there are even greater things to come.
“I have been told that rum is one of those tonics that clarifies the vision and so I will charge the Hampden team to spread their tonic far and wide so others can see the value in being a part of our Trelawny family.
“I want to thank the Hussey family for making this investment and for having confidence in Trelawny and our spirits.”
The expanded warehouse facility is estimated to have cost $120 million.