Jamaica, “the land of wood and water”, known as the third largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean with its mountainous land and majestic waterfalls. Its beautiful beaches and sweet jerk dishes, its production of the reggae king Bob Marley and the world’s fastest sprinters. With 2.9m people settled on the island, its multi-racial population is consisted of Africans, Europeans, East Indians and Chinese is based on the motto “Out of many one people”. The democratic country gained independence on August 6, 1962 from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and became a commonwealth country with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state and is represented in Jamaica by the governor-general the most honourable sir Patrick Allen. In 2012 the then prime minister honourable Portia Simpson Miller intended to remove the Queen as head of state but her reign ended before she could do so. On September 3, 2020 Jamaica’s latest general election where the Jamaica labour party was victorious in winning to the people’s nation party with 49 seats was questioned again upon removing the queen as head of states, their answers yet to finalized.
With all that’s said about the beautiful island Jamaica, we are still faced with challenges. With 1.26m deaths world wide due to the pandemic, the virus has ended the lives of 221 Jamaicans. The island has recorded 9,542 cases since March 2020, with the absence of a vaccine the government has placed rules to prevent the virus from decimating the population but as usual it is a hard task to get citizens to comply in order to save their own lives. With the hurricane season starting from June 1 to the ending of November, the island has experienced a significant increase in rainfall. Landslides, infrastructure failures are just a few factors contributed by the flooding due to the heavy rainfall. The island has suffered an attack causing at least two lives after their house has collapsed on them in the community of shooters hill, bull bay, St. Andrew. Many communities are being marooned with residence having no way to get in or out, but the question is if this continues, how long will it take before shortage of food becomes an issue?
Corona virus has impacted the entire world and many sectors, in which education is a major sector that was affected. Because of the pandemic students are asked to stay home and have classes online world wide. In Jamaica many students are being affected with online classes being a major set back due to having difficulties on accessing internet or having a suitable device, due to this the next option is the reopening of schools. The honourable Fayval Williams, minister of education, youth and information has given 12 schools the go ahead in resuming face to face classes after being closed for over 8 months. The government indicated the provision of tablets and laptops to students for online classes, but they then questioned the amount of time students will be spending online. Due to the heavy rainfalls and destructions in different communities the opening of schools has been postponed until further notice. Over the world there are a number of social issues and problems being solved every day but one that seems impossible to stop is none other than crime. At the starting of the year 2020, 34 murders were recorded in Jamaica. With not only regular civilians been killed our officers and soldiers are also being murdered. Over 500 military and law enforcers were killed over the one-year period in the island which is a serious problem.
With the island being the third largest in the Caribbean it is consisted of 14 parishes, but after the September 3 election the government stated that a plan is designed for the country to have an additional parish “Portmore” to bring the total number of parishes to 15. But in an interview conducted with the Mayor Leon Thomas and the member of parliament for St. Catherine Southern, Portmore Fitz Jackson they stated that the community is not ready for parish status, they would like to go forward with the plan but the community is not developed most in the infrastructural area so the idea is premature and have many issues that mut be addressed before putting that proposal on the table. Jamaica has a huge tourism sector and is known for different aspect of it. But there are many parts of the island that needs to be developed. As stated above about the community of Portmore being under developed the country isn’t ready for any major changes until some of the issues are solved. Damaged roads and old factories need to repaired and other communities need to be developed with businesses which contributes to jobs openings.
Over the one-year period, Jamaica has faced a lot of difficulties, from the pandemic to online classes, the increase in the killing of our officers and the destruction of the infrastructures due to flooding, the government is looking at billions of dollars in repairs.