Call the general elections, PM Stuart!

It may be a new year but for residents of White Hill, St Andrew it is the same old sad story of land slippage, an impassible main road and mounting frustration.

Having long reached the end of the proverbial tether, they now believe only a change of Government will usher in relief.

“If elections don’t call I don’t know what will happen to White Hill. We can’t wait until the elections date is called. Elections are the only way right now that we see ease because nothing has been done for us after three years,” Carlitha Andrews, the reputed spokesperson for the rural community told Barbados TODAY.

“This is so personal and hurting to us that there are people in this community who have never voted and they can’t wait to vote now because of this condition . . . . Living in White Hill is so inhumane.”

Following heavy rains in November 2014, the main access road leading into the disaster-prone village was officially condemned due to land slippage. Large cracks have also appeared in a temporary road that was constructed in the rural community.

Residents have been pleading since with the authorities to put them out of their misery and virtual isolation, but the situation has only been getting worse.

Andrews told Barbados TODAY the deteriorating makeshift road was dangerous and a major cause for concern.

“The track that was put in place is getting impassable. Soon from now we won’t be able to go up there. It’s full of trees and there is no lighting. As a woman walking down there at night somebody could get rape. It is dangerous; even as a man you can be robbed. Our lives are consistently put in danger. It is only God’s mercy that the people up here still remain sane,” she lamented.

Government announced in November last year that it would relocate 22 houses to Farmers, St Thomas, with a view to ending all housing settlement in the problem-plagued section of the Scotland District.

However, the community had met the announcement with derision, saying it was nothing more than an election gimmick.

Although Minister of Housing Denis Kellman had reacted with surprise, saying, “I don’t deal with election gimmicks when it comes to people’s lives”, Andrews said the fact that nothing has happened since proved the people’s point.

“Move and go where?” she asked. “We don’t live in match boxes that you can just take up and move in your hand. Nobody was moved. We need a town hall meeting to find out when Mr Kellman [intends to begin] and let us know which is the 22 houses that will be moved. We might be desperate but we are not stupid. To relocate is like you starting over again. There is no land available. We are poor people, we can’t go and buy the land for $60 and $70 [per square foot]. We can’t but it.”

In last November’s announcement, which came in a press release from the Barbados Government Information Service, the housing ministry said the next phase of the relocations, which began in 1999, would involve the transfer of the 22 houses, with five new houses due to be constructed this financial year and another seven in 2018.

In response to the residents’ dismissal of the promise, Kellman had also assured Barbados TODAY that work had already started on the resettlement project, adding that “by next [this] year, we should be finished that phase that we put out the press release on”.

“I find it rather shocking that something so easy to understand, somebody would call it a gimmick. We are actually dealing with the issue, so . . .  I’m surprised at a comment like that. We are working on the project and soon will complete it,” he insisted.

However, with no apparent signs of progress since, Suzanne Jemmott, who operates a corner shop in the community, told Barbados TODAY plans to relocate only 22 homes made little sense.

“Nobody has been moved, everyone of us still here in White Hill. Nobody has moved a muscle; no action took place. We are looking at over 80 houses so I don’t know when or how it is going to happen,” Jemmott said, adding that their only hope lay in the general election due this year.   

“The election is the only glimmer of hope we have. It is just a lot of promises. I mean there are promises from both sides. We can just hope and pray that something happens because life is very hard.”

She added that while her business was not severely impacted over the festive season, “it is still hard on me trying to get the stuff home”.

“I am hoping for the best. I am just hurting, but nothing is happening.”

Another person who lives abroad, and who requested anonymity, told Barbados TODAY he was worried about his aging mother who resides in the district.

“My mother live here and she is getting down [in age]. That is foolishness to have my mum go through this. There is no one else in the family that can take her around. When I’m gone for nine months she has no help,” he said.

18 Responses to Call the general elections, PM Stuart!

  1. Carson C. Cadogan January 25, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    The squatters have only themselves to blame.

    • Big Man January 26, 2018 at 9:33 am

      George Jefferson was they representative for 14 years of BLP rule, in a time of plenty and did nothing for these squatters

      • Mark My Word January 26, 2018 at 9:46 am

        When thee elections call you still will be living in
        White Hell
        The people squatting in the Belle still there
        The people squatting in Rock Hall St. Phillip still there
        All the squatters in Bim still there

  2. Alex Alleyne January 25, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    So The land just start slipping ?. This is where some people let politics make fools out of them over and over again. The road ways of BIM are in serious need of repairs and elections or no elections will bring no “quick fix” to the problem.
    Many things in BIM fell apart and will take time, pain and money to get us back on track.
    Not holding my breath looking for on quick and easy fix. Must stick it out for the long-haul.
    Still standing firm , cos whoever is in office we still need enough “HEALTH , TIME AND MONEY”.
    Good luck to all you POLITICIANS, but make sure you LOOK OUT FOR BARBADOS.

    • Atman January 26, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      Alex, it’s not a matter of a “QUICK FIX” as you put it. The biggest problem with the current gov’t it that the economy keeps going SOUTH, the people want a change that will start the economy going NORTH. Right now White Hill should be a PRIORITY for any administration that is in office because the human beings living in that area are in a dire situation.

  3. Kevin January 25, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Move all except those individuals from families that was moved before then came back.

  4. Saga Boy January 25, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    For 14 long long years George Payne was your representative and did nothing for you. Not he pretends that he is free of any blame.

    • Atman January 26, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      Why wunna political yardfowls always playing partisan politics with people’s lives and well-being?

  5. luther thorne January 26, 2018 at 12:56 am

    Call the Elections
    Stop Punishing the People.

  6. luther thorne January 26, 2018 at 1:15 am

    Whitehill are correct

    Call the Elections
    Stop Punishing the People
    Call the Elections
    This is Cruelty to Animals.

    Imagine Todd, a man that ran and won in the City. Lost in the City and duh sey duh in want he. Instead ah he dun he running against Mia Mottley. Dey mussee tell he that the only way he cud run is to run against Mia. That is how FroonDull think about he. “How it go look”
    One of the strangest things ever seen in Politics in Barbados. This along with the Sewage situation on the South Sums up the Sordid tenure of the DLP.
    Add the Downgrades and Travel Advisories and now the quality of our WATER questioned and we have witnessed the DESTRUCTION OF BARBADOS
    The Dems came back in 2008 to finish the job of Destruction they started in 1986 – 1994 , the worst period in Barbados since 1937.

    • Big Man January 26, 2018 at 9:31 am

      Lut heer Horne you saying only animals would be living and squatting in whiteHill
      You calling your own BLP yard duck animals WOW! Lut her

  7. jrsmith January 26, 2018 at 6:18 am

    I have come to the conclusion , It doesn’t matter who or what party wins the election , bajans are going to see no changes , looking back at 4 decades of political neglect , showing the state of our country’s infrastructure the only persons who has benefitted over this period is the politicians and the 1% of Barbados who control our country………………………………………
    Unless bajan voters come to they senses the suffering is going to be worst , politicians need to be controlled ………..
    Politicians need to be (accountable )to the voters in Barbados , you should blame politicians for the failure of our country , for the mess our country is in , for the shame they have put our country in …
    Blame , blame, blame , blame , the (POLITICIANS) unless you are scared of doing so , then blame your next door neighbour, and if he/she is an elected member of parliament so much the better……………….
    Politicians the world over are the ones who has cause devastation to many parts of the world , but this never effect themselves………
    Bajans need to wise up, (stop party voting ) and convince themselves the person they are voting for is for the people …
    We need something to control our politicians, so we can remove them from office as easy as they were voted in……………

  8. Ernesta Catlyn January 26, 2018 at 8:47 am

    We make the mistake of allowing politicians two terms to get a pension. If no real action within 3 years or no plausible plans in place, vote them out the next election. When they realise that their pensions are in jeopardy, they will take note. We are too accommodating and cuh-dearish

  9. hcalndre January 26, 2018 at 8:53 am

    After a candidate lies his/her way to win a seat and is in the ruling party, that`s it. The Opposition is useless because they are the minority and as a member of the ruling party you are not independent to vote as you see it although it would not be a good idea for your constituency, you have to vote with the party. What purpose does the Opposition serves?

  10. Tennyson Drakes January 26, 2018 at 11:37 am

    I really do feel the pain of the people in White Hill. BUT calling an Election will not solve your problems. I find it strange that anybody will want to live on land that they know will “slip”. No politician can stop the land from slipping. The solution is for you the residents of White Hill to move from down there. I am also understanding that the Government did relocate some of the residents and some of them went back to the said White Hill and start all over again.

  11. Greengiant January 26, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    @luther thorne: You are just coming here to pedal the position of your brain dead party. What positives did they do in White Hill? An area under their control for decades, now the silly party supporters calling for an election, as if that will bring instant relief.

    George and company probably have some land and houses tucked away in a brown paper bag that they will pull out the morning after the election to hand out. The B L P is simply playing on the vulnerability of the masses for their selfish, power hungry gains. They need to realize, and quickly too, “any party without workable solutions, and the people’s support will only enjoy a five year term”. The people are now less passive since the trickery of the Owen lead Bees, and the Stuart lead Dees.

    It won’t be business as usual.

  12. Head shots January 26, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    So why the residents dont chip and help out ,I mean you can’t keep sitting down and complaining .A promise is a comfort to fool

  13. Jeed January 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    What government can prevent land slippage?


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