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Fish invade Clarendon yards

Schools of fish have invaded the yards of many Rocky Point, Clarendon, homes following the recent heavy rains.

While the community is known for its fishing, residents are not pleased that the aquatic creatures are currently habituating in their yards.

These fish, which Clive Reid refers to as 'tiki tiki', are not edible and, therefore, of little value to the residents.

Like many others, Reid's yard, which is located in a middle-income section of the community, has been transformed into a pond. The water in some parts reaches him at his knees. He said that in addition to breeding small fish, sections of the community have become breeding grounds for frogs and mosquitoes due to inadequate drainage.

"When it touch inna di evening a bare mosquito, and you have some bull frog whe jump all over di place," he said.

The resident said water runs from the roadway and settles in his yard whenever it rains. With the floodwaters come the tiki tiki, which make their way from canals in the community.

"A bare little fish in yah," commented Reid.

Mayor of May Pen Winston Maragh, who is the councillor for the Rocky Point Division in the Clarendon Municipal Corporation, said he will be sending a team to assess the damage.

"There has been a lot of rainfall in one day so we must expect that everywhere will be flooded. Every community in Clarendon experienced flooding. We have drains all over the place but we are not able to clean all of them at once. The amount of money that we get for drain cleaning is a drop in the bucket. We have to look at the way we make drains, " he said.

Maragh said Rocky Point is located on the seaside, so water will channel through yards to enter the sea "whether yuh have drains or not".

"Water don't run into drains because the yards are flatter than the roads. The yards that have the lowest elevation are going to get flooded and get waterlogged. Water will settle there and breed mosquito and breed fish. We always tell people in Rocky Point when they are building their houses to think about their yards. Dump up yuh yards ... put that into the budget. I have been to some houses in Rocky Point where some of them clean and pretty but the yard full a mud," he said.

Reid said that when heavy rains lashed the island on Sunday and Monday, he and his family had to seek refuge at his mother's place as water stormed through his residence. He said it could take weeks of sunshine before the water subsides.

The scenery was similar throughout sections of Rocky Point. An elderly man was seen wading in the murky insect-filled mossy water while a teenage girl used plastic bags to protect her feet.

"Mi can't go inna mi yard, water run mi out," the barefooted old man shouted to the news team.

Another resident, Carlton Golding, said that in addition to the pond that has been created around his house he is concerned for his health.

"Dem say is a residential area but we don't have a proper drainage system. All we need is a good drain and we can find we way out. Ringworm a kill we off round here. Every minute mi catch it between mi toes and have to go doctor. Is not like mi can protect myself from it because once the rainy season chip in, my yard and others, you can literally swim in them. Di whole a di back and side a mi yard full a fish," he said.

The mosquitoes, he said, present another problem.

"More time yuh see people come round here and give us some black oil to throw in the water to hold down the mosquito dem, but the water still a stand up pon we," Golding added.