Winston Lawson, President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce
Some residents and businesses in Montego Bay, St. James, are reportedly contemplating leaving the city as the after-effects of a fire at Retirement dump continue to be felt throughout the parish.
The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce has labelled the situation a disaster.
At a news conference on Thursday, Winston Lawson, president of the Chamber, said days after the fire was put out, the smoke nuisance persists, with the effects being felt as far as sections of Hanover.
He said the smoke is "causing immense discomfort and ill-health to citizens, who have been complaining of asthmatic attacks, swollen eyes and the taste of electricity on the tongue."
According to Mr. Lawson, the situation is taking a toll on productivity as business people are among those who are considering leaving Montego Bay until the problem is addressed.
The Montego Bay Chamber has also rejected Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie's apology in relation to the fire.
Mr. Lawson called the apology, proffered on Tuesday, inadequate and unacceptable.
He said the Chamber wants to see the relevant authorities, including the Office and Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), put in place a permanent fix for the problem.