JIS News

The Junitavan Lagoon in Accompong, St. Elizabeth, is to be restored, with the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), through its Foundation, donating $871,000 to undertake the project.
Commonly known as the Maroon Lagoon, it was once used by locals and visitors for recreation, indigenous religious ceremonies and other water related activities, but the condition of the lagoon has deteriorated over time, particularly by the weather.
The donation was handed over to leaders of the Accompong Maroon Council, at a ceremony on August 4.
In addition to excavation works, trees will be replanted around the lagoon, to prevent further soil erosion of the surrounding hillside.
The project is a continuation of earlier work done by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) and other entities, to advance the community, through the development of a sustainable tourism product.
Leader of the Maroons, Colonel Sydney Peddie, has said that the restoration of the lagoon would increase visitors to Accompong, including researchers and environmentalists.
“The tourists who visit Accompong constantly ask to swim in the lagoon and view Maroon monuments, and therefore we are working to meet these needs. We are also restoring two tombs of slaves and placing story boards to tell their history, as we know them. Both residents and visitors will benefit and we are all enthusiastic about the completion of the lagoon, which is expected in October,” Mr. Peddie said.
Meanwhile, General Manager of the JNBS Foundation, Saffrey Brown, said the restoration of the lagoon would help to contribute to the economic and social goals being pursued by the Maroon Council.
“The JNBS Foundation’s approach to rural regeneration is based on providing financial and technical assistance to help rural communities find solutions that improve economic and social conditions. The Accompong Maroons carry such an important part of our history, identity and pride, that we jumped at the opportunity to help them preserve this,” Miss Brown said.