JIS News

Commuters and motorists using the roadway leading into the Maroon town of Accompong in St. Elizabeth will soon find it much more comfortable, as three kilometres of road are to be rehabilitated.
A contract for the project was signed yesterday (May 17), in the town by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and Garan-tee Construction company.
In his address at the signing, Colonel of Accompong, Sidney Peddie, reminded the residents of the important role that the road had played in the past.
“This is the route that used to be taken by a lot of the children who came to the local primary school as well as our farmers who used it to get produce to the markets. Over time it deteriorated until it reached the stage where the children had to find alternative routes, and of course it was one of the main exits for visitors who participate in our annual celebrations,” he said.
Colonel Peddie thanked the JSIF for the help that has been extended to the maroon people.
“We from the maroon council give the assurance that we will do our utmost best to ensure that once the project is completed, that we will do our part to maintain this gift,” he said.
Managing Director of JSIF, Scarlette Gillings, in her address outlined the scope of the project, which has a total cost of $16.3 million.
“Financing has come from the government of Jamaica in the sum of $15 million. This project is critical, as we are cognizant of the importance of this road, not only for Accompong residents but also to the members of neighbouring communities. On completion, residents will have improved access to social services, especially farmers, children, taxi operators and other users who utilize the road for numerous other purposes,” she said.
Mrs. Gillings reminded the audience of the important place that the Accompong people occupied in the annals of Jamaica’s history.
“Today, this is an acknowledgement of the historic significance of Accompong and the contribution that the maroons have made and the fact that a rehabilitated road will mean significant and positive investment for the community’s tourism product,” she said.
As part of the contract, the sponsor of the project – the Accompong Maroon Council – will make a contribution of 11 per cent in cash or kind.