Hopeless in Ch. Ch East
This is the state that some residents in Christ Church East are living. On Friday evening as the Barbados TODAY team visited the constituency, many of their concerns were highlighted.
From homes standing only by faith, some with neither electricity nor running water, to others damaged during Tropical Storm Tomas in 2010 and roofs not yet repaired this was the sad but true story of constituents.
As Bourne’s Land resident, Elaine Boyce, openly cried about her “hopeless” conditions Barbados Labour Party candidate, Wilfred Abrahams, was visibly upset by the sight of her roofless run down house. Her roof was damaged in the storm, as a result whenever it rains she pushes her furniture and household items to one side of the house to prevent them from getting wet.
“I ask the Lord to help me,” she said as she held her head and cried. “[Dr.] Denis Lowe never come here yet . . .† and you think he could get another vote from me?”.
She as well as Abrahams said they were angry about her situation, particularly because workers from the National Housing Corporation visited some three years ago but did nothing to help the retiree out of her situation.
“This is the frustration that people like Miss Bynoe are experiencing. If you cannot help just say you can’t help, if you need time to help say that you need time but don’t come and promise help, don’t come and measure or write in a book, give people hope that help is coming then three, four years later nothing at all,” the attorney-at-law said.
Another resident in a desperate condition was Anthony Stoute. He has been living in the 12×8 square foot termite infested house he calls home in Breedy’s Land for close to three years.
“I have nowhere else to go,” he whispered to Barbados TODAY. He once lived at another location in Silver Sands but was asked to leave.
When Abrahams initially came to the area Stoute’s quandary was the first of many which was brought to his attention. “No one else had taken the time to assist the man. He could not receive welfare assistance to help himself. I couldn’t believe that he was in this state and he couldn’t get welfare cheques because he didn’t have an identification card. Something as simple as him not knowing how to go about getting a renewal for his ID card. I came for him a day, took him to St. Christopher to get his ID done, I collected it and then brought it for him. We’ve been friends every since,” the first time candidate said.
Now he receives bi-weekly grants of $126 but of late that too is becoming a problem because he is not receiving them as he should. This month he said he had not received any at all. However he was still able to thank the politician, adding that if not for his help he would be in a worst state. “One of the things I intend to do, and I am carving it in stone, is that a year from now if I am in, Stoute will not be here in these conditions. I will move heaven and earth to make sure that his plight is addressed and he gets the care that he needs.
“We talk about people getting houses but the reality is look at where Stoute is living. An MP for an area cannot ignore these conditions. These are desperate situations. If I have to use some of the money Government gives me to spend in my constituency to find somewhere else for him it will be done but he will not be here,” said Abrahams. (KC)