- Residents of Rocky Point, Clarendon, are welcoming the construction of a new market in their community, built at a cost of approximately $50 million.
- More than 300 persons will benefit directly, and 4,200 indirectly, from the market, which was built over five months.
- The market will accommodate fish vendors and scrapers in one of the largest fishing communities on the South coast.
Residents of Rocky Point, Clarendon, are welcoming the construction of a new market in their community, built at a cost of approximately $50 million, on the grounds of a previous facility.
More than 300 persons will benefit directly, and 4,200 indirectly, from the market, which was built over five months, primarily to accommodate fish vendors and scrapers in one of the largest fishing communities on the South coast.
The facility will be managed by community-based group, the Rocky Point Development Council Benevolent Association, which has already leased it from the Clarendon Parish Council, for $55,000 per month.
Speaking at the official handing over ceremony on April 12, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, noted that residents of the community have waited a long time for the facility.
She hailed the collaborative effort between the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), the Rocky Point Development Council Benevolent Association, the Clarendon Parish Council, and other public and private entities, which made the project possible.
Mrs. Simpson Miller stated her personal commitment to rural development, as someone who was born in deep rural Jamaica, with familial roots in Clarendon.
She noted that traditionally, markets have sustained the majority of rural Jamaicans, serving as important outlets for the food produced by farmers, and as a hub of activity for its users.
She added that it is through selling in the markets, that that many parents have financed their children’s education to the highest level.
The Prime Minister urged the users of the new facility to keep it clean. “I want to appeal to you to take care of this market. Use it to lift yourselves and members of your family. Make it a place that every householder in this and adjoining districts will want to come and will want to shop,” she said.
The Prime Minister, assisted by head girl of Portland Cottage Primary School, Darresha Brown, cut the ribbon to signal the official opening of the facility.
The new market was constructed through a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund, which aims to increase access and improve social infrastructure; build the capacity of communities and local organisations; and improve the participation of citizens and community groups in decision-making.
Managing Director, JSIF, Scarlette Gillings, said this was the first such facility being funded by the CDB and also the first time that her agency was engaging in a market project. Over the years, JSIF has focused primarily on infrastructure development such as road repairs, and construction and rehabilitation of schools and health centres.
“This project was not without its fair share of challenges but through ongoing dialogue and consultation between the JSIF, the Parish Council and the Benevolent Society, many issues were dealt with and solutions sought,” Mrs. Gillings said.
The building was constructed from reinforced concrete with stalls for the fish vendors and a section with sinks and running water for housing the scrapers. It also has sanitary conveniences and a section for food stalls and haberdashery.