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Sandy victims claim politics preventing relief

KINGSTON — Residents of the hurricane-ravaged community of Kensington in Portland are claiming that political biases have played a major role in them not getting any help to repair their badly damaged homes, one month after Hurricane Sandy hit the island, causing major damage in that Eastern parish.

According to the residents, some persons who suffered minor damage have since received financial assistance from the government, while those who have been left homeless have not received as much as a tarpaulin to make a temporary roof over their heads.

A recent visit to the hilltop community revealed that a significant number of the houses were damaged when the storm pounded the coastal parish last month.

Tarpaulins still cover several roofs and homeowners continue to use concrete blocks to hold down the few sheets of zinc they were able to retrieve after the fierce wind took all in its path.

Situation dire

But the situation is even more dire for some families whose houses were demolished by the hurricane, leaving the occupants exposed to the open air.

While these persons are in desperate need of help, residents said their names did not make the list of those who have since received vouchers valued at $60,000 and $30,000.

Sherlette Wilson is still sleeping in a structure which is not high enough for her to walk upright, after the storm flattened her board house and left her homeless.

“Ah inna dat hut me sleep and me put up back dat little place beside it fi me daughter and har little baby fi stay,” she said, pointing to the structure, while surveying the wreck which was once her home.

Her neighbours say they are advocating that she gets some help as no one should have to live that way.

Agnes Lindsay took the Jamaica Observer to view the outside kitchen where her daughter Maxine Lindsay is now living with her five children, ages six through 18, after the storm tore off the roof and weakened the board structure.

“All some people in a deck house (concrete roof) get money and it hard fi she and har five children a live inna one kitchen,” she said.

Other desperate residents invited the Observer North East to view and take pictures of their damaged homes.

“You no think say is the people who badly damaged who fah name shoulda be on the list?” questioned Opal Vanwhervine. (Observer)

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