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‘Futile’ Hill

St Andrew residents’ fears turn to despair

It has been a week since residents of White Hill, St Andrew last appealed publicly to the authorities for help.

Residents making their way up the hill after it broke away due to heavy rains.

Residents making their way up the hill after it broke away due to heavy rains.

Since then, no help has been forthcoming and the residents now say they are beyond the point of frustration, as their cries continue to fall on death ears.

However, to make matters worse, another section of the temporary makeshift road, which they have using since the collapse of the main road more than a year ago, also fell in overnight under the pressure of heavy rains.

Resident Christopher Jordan, who has lived in the area all his life, is now completely frustrated over what he sees as a blatant lack of respect from Government.

“As you see, we just had a little rain last night and look at what happened,” he said pointing to the collapsed section of the road.

“Yesterday we could pass and go down, now you have to go down in a valley and climb up,” he said.

Jordan also expressed concern that with the 2016 hurricane season scheduled to start in a few days, this could spell further disaster for them.

“What are we going to do then? There is no way that we can get out of White Hill. The land is just moving all the time [but] no one is saying anything. The Government just isn’t doing anything for the people in White Hill although we are crying out.

“We are up here suffering bad. That isn’t right.  We live here too. We really need some help,” he lamented.

Jordan, whose has a daughter is expecting a child, said he lives in fear now “because if something happens to her, there is no way for her to get help”.

Another outspoken resident Carlitha Andrews, who had joined with St Andrew Member of Parliament George Payne in highlighting the serious plight last Saturday, said the dire situation only hit home for her recently when it started to affect her child’s schooling.

“My child is home right now can’t go to school. I had to call the school early this morning to let them know it is not that the children don’t want to go school, it’s that they can’t go,” Andrews said as she called on the Ministry of Education to get involved to “save the children from this situation”.

“It is ridiculous. Children up here running around like it’s vacation time. No one is paying you any mind. I’m asking the Ministry of Education now to step on board because the children’s education is at stake. The children are the future and if this is the example they are setting for them now, I don’t want to see them tomorrow. Children need to get to school and people need to get to work,” she stressed.

Since Barbados TODAY highlighted their plight last Saturday, Andrews said only one representative from the Soil Conservation Unit in St Andrew had come by to look at the situation, which she said “was real sad”.

“The only person I know came up here, I could be wrong, is the Soil Conservation but they didn’t speak to us. They just came and did their official business and went back,” she said.

Andrews is concerned that with the situation as it is, no emergency vehicles can reach the area, should something happen.

She pointed out that just yesterday, “a little child was sick up here and a fella had to take it from here to meet the ambulance
in a truck.

“If anyone is sick the ambulance isn’t coming up here. It’s not fair,” she added.

Marcia Carrington echoed Andrews’ sentiments, adding that she was now at a loss as to what to do next.

Marcia Carrington does not know where to turn.

Marcia Carrington does not know where to turn.

“You don’t know how much worse this will get but we have to find a way to get out because when the rain falls the bus don’t come up the hill, so it’s a no way out for us.

I don’t even know how I am going to get home. I fall down this morning coming up. My daughter gone to school this morning and all she is wondering how she is going to get home. I don’t know what they are going to do for us. This situation is ridiculous. But we have to find a way in and out,” Carrington said.

Efforts to get a comment from the Ministry of Transport and Works proved to be futile.

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