by Emmanuel Joseph
When Gryner performed his politically-inspired Stinging Bees social commentary back in the early 1980s, he probably never thought that more than 30 years later, bees would literally play significant role in determining the status of a road project.
“Were you ever stung by a bee, a bumble bee? In the heart of yuh own country, yuh own country?”
Well, if the tractor driver employed by the Ministry of Transport and Works was asked that question, he would have to say yes.
Jeffrey Thompson, a long standing resident of Fruitful Hill in St. Andrew reported to Barbados TODAY this afternoon, that rehabilitation work on the road, which had been severely damaged by landslide several times in the last half century, was forced to come to a sudden halt some six weeks ago.
Thompson said the MTW driver had been clearing the worse portion of the road at Fruitful Hill, when the tractor hit an old trees causing a swarm of bees to rush out and attacked him.
He told this paper that the attack was so severe the worker was detained at a private hospital for two whole days.
“We are still waiting for work to resume on this road. The man is probably on sick leave, trying to recuperate,” pointed out Thompson.
Meanwhile, a portion of the steep hill remained closed, because it is impassable, the resident informed. He said only four wheel drive vehicles could use the part of the road that was open. Thompson estimated that there were about 15 houses in the district that were affected by a lack of a proper road.
Over at Coggins, St. Andrew, an 81 year old former plantation labourer is in the process of relocating to the nearby Marshall Hill due to the perilous state of his home and land slippage around it, which gets worse after heavy rainfall.
Elliott Wilkinson, a father of eight, said one of his daughters was in the process of helping him to build on the new spot. Wilkinson, who had been living on the site for the past 20 years, said he was anxious to relocate. The house appears to be on the verge of collapsing and he believes it is just a matter of time before it falls apart.
In the nearby community of Dark Hole, progress is being made on repairs to the road, which had been extensively damaged by flood water during the passage of Tropical Storm Tomas and was closed to vehicular traffic since then.
Vehicles are now able to pass safely over the repaired section, which is still to be paved. [email protected]