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No help from gov’t after hurricane

Humble dwelling in Backing Duhaney Pen, St. Thomas.

Humble dwelling in Backing Duhaney Pen, St. Thomas.

KINGSTON — Her complaints are not because she’s a miserable woman, just a woman at the end of her rope.

Known to everyone as Flo, she resides in Duhaney Pen, a section of St. Thomas that was badly hit by Hurricane Dean. But her real angst was not against the elements. She is tired of the lip service of the authorities who have never provided her and others with financial assistance.

“It never gi wi a hit, it mash mi up,” she said. “An mi nuh get nutten.” Flo said officials came to look at the damage but have done nothing to help her rebuild.

“Not even a sheet of zinc,” she said. “Di whole a dem stand up right deh so and say ‘if is even a tarpaulin to give her’,” she recalled. “All now!”

With the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season already started, her patchwork-looking house is cause for concern. Tarpaulin held down by blocks keeps out the rain, but the walls and roof are still susceptible. What irks her more is that persons from adjoining communities who were barely affected, allegedly received compensation.

“Mi hear people a boast say dem get $60,000 and nutten nuh do mi house,” she said. “Help those weh in need. Yuh see anyone a dem (politician) come, a run mi a run dem!” She tried relocating and found a plot of land where she erected a small dwelling but was chased off because she was squatting.

“A years me work a Springfield Banana Walk fi buy here so,” she said. “Mi can’t buy land again.” She’s casting her ballot for the only one who has never let her down.

A God mi a vote fah. He is on di case,” she said. “Mi know him nuh slack and tun weh him promise.”

But she also believes God helps those who help themselves, so she has been trying to protect her home by planting more coconut trees to stem the storm surges. Other residents have also built a run-off to divert the water around the homes, but “as five minutes rain, that overflow”. She is hoping to do some extra jobs to buy some cement, blocks and steel But until then, she admits she gets nervous anytime she hears ‘storm’. But she is hoping for the best even if a storm hits.

“God a go mek plenty a wi endure,” she said. (Gleaner)

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