Feature
Grierfield Road, which was rehabilitated using funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
Photo: Donald De La Haye

Story Highlights

  • The more than 2,000 residents of Grierfield in St. Ann can now travel to and from their community in greater comfort and safety thanks to the rehabilitation of 3.9 kilometres of roadway in the area.
  • The road was repaired at a cost of approximately $69 million through funding under the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
  • Implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), this CDB funding aims to ensure that underserved communities throughout the island are equipped with basic amenities.

The more than 2,000 residents of Grierfield in St. Ann can now travel to and from their community in greater comfort and safety thanks to the rehabilitation of 3.9 kilometres of roadway in the area.

The road was repaired at a cost of approximately $69 million through funding under the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), this CDB funding aims to ensure that underserved communities throughout the island are equipped with basic amenities.

The road project, which was undertaken over 10 months, opening in 2018, entailed, among other things, paving works, installation of a drainage system and cleaning of culverts

Operations Officer at the CDB, Karl Pivott, visiting the completed project recently says the Bank is happy to see that the project is completed and that it is having a major impact on the community, making everyday life easier for the residents.

“When we do road projects, the whole community benefits. The elderly can access the medical facilities and basic services; the farmers can take their produce to the market and they can also bring fertiliser in,” CDB Senior Operations Officer George Yearwog tells JIS News.

He has charged the community members to take care of the road, noting that the implementation team from the JSIF would have provided training in its maintenance.

Meanwhile, President for the Grierfield Farmers’ Group, Clement Daniels, says that the rehabilitated roadway has made it easier for the more than 100 farmers in the community to get to their fields and take their produce to market.

He says that previously, getting a taxi to transport farm produce would have attracted an exorbitant cost; however, with the new road, the fare has significantly decreased.

The taxi fare to the nearest town has fallen from $500 to $150.

Secretary of the farmers group, June Stennett, also welcomes the ease of access to transportation. “The road is now superb and taxis are willing to take you home,” she says.

Norma Brooks, who has lived in Grierfield for 45 years, is expressing appreciation for the CDB’s intervention, which has provided the community with the upgraded roadway.

She recalls having to wear plastic bags over her shoes in order to preserve them, while walking along the old road, noting that a few pairs were destroyed in the process.

Children also had a difficult time getting to school, with some having to wear a pair of shoes along the way, and then changing into another pair once they reach school.

For many residents, the new roadway has provided an avenue for wellness, as it is being used as an exercise trail.

In addition, relatives and friends are making more regular visits to the area, and the elderly citizens are better able to traverse the roadway, enabling them to get to their medical appointments.

Property values have also appreciated since the rehabilitation.

“It has brought a sense of vibrancy back to the community and has helped to improve the finances of the members of the community, who are now able to undertake commerce in a more manageable way,” one community member shares.

The quiet farming community produces ackee, yam, pepper, June plum, cane, banana and cherry, and the residents have also ventured into manufacturing wines, sauces and pickles.

The Grierfield residents express their gratitude to CDB, JSIF and former Councillor for the area Lloyd Garrick, who made representation to JSIF to get the road fixed.

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