Today’s early morning showers were not a blessing to seven siblings at Mayers Road, My Lord’s Hill, St Michael.
They were robbed of their dry beds on which to sleep and were forced to resort to dry portions of the floor as a result of a roof in dire need of repairs.
Every time the rain falls, this is the reality for these children whose plight was brought to the public’s attention in Barbados TODAY’s March 18 issue when their mother Harriett Hackett appealed for help with feeding and clothing her children.
At that time, the unemployed mother, who spoke about her undesirable living conditions, also called for assistance with repairs to the dilapidated house that exposed her and the children to the elements.
There was an outpouring of help coming from Barbadians here and abroad who delivered or sent food and clothing to her doors.
Chairman of Innotech Anthony DaSilva presented $2 500 in food vouchers from Massy Stores to Hackett and a number of organizations pledged to lend assistance. However, over six months later, the family continues to languish in squalor.
When a Barbados TODAY team paid a visit to what they call home today the team discovered the children at home. Their mother said they did not go to schools because their uniforms got wet from the rain which came in through the roof which was supposed to protect them from the elements.
Destitute and desperate, Hackett has again appealed for help. However, this time she called on the authorities to assist her with better shelter for her children.
“If I get a house I would thank the Lord. To tell you the gospel truth I would thank the Lord. I does tell my mother so too, that if somebody had to give me a house I would thank the Lord.
“If I get a house and move I would thank exactly the Lord for giving me somewhere to carry my children. Because it ain’t easy living in here,” the mother said.
She said while it remained a struggle to feed her family daily, the living condition had worsened, especially the kitchen where walking on the fragile floor to prepare meals has become a tedious task.
In fact, Hackett and her children are now unable to use their overflowing pit toilet and are forced to find alternative means
to relieve themselves.
“I don’t know what else to do, I does try my best to send them to school and to feed them. People don’t know how I does try. I ain’t got money to buy no house,” she said.
As she has done on every occasion that Barbados TODAY revisits the story, the 45-year-old said she would be happy to find employment to assist in her dream of placing her children in more comfortable living conditions.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for St Michael East Trevor Prescod told Barbados TODAY that he was aware of the family’s plight and has made efforts in the past to assist them.
However, he said controversy surrounding the land on which the house rest got in the way of repairing or replacing it.
Prescod told Barbados TODAY he had contacted the Urban Development Commission for assistance with repairing the house, however, he was turned down because of the questions surrounding the land.
The MP indicated that there were several social issues facing the family, all of which were derived from the “radical form of extreme poverty” in which they live.
“It is always imperative that the Government social welfare programmes are there to respond to these concerns.
“I am saying that there is always a necessity to have these social welfare programmes to respond to these needs or to these demands,” he said.