There appears to be no end in sight to the suffering for the people of While Hill, St Andrew, who are facing a fresh danger to add to three years of water shortages, land slippage and an impassable main road.
Residents of the rural community said they were scared that a tree that has begun to tilt over high voltage electricity lines that have already killed a monkey, could fall at any time, endangering their lives.
And they said repeated attempts to get the authorities to rescue them from this latest “dangerous situation” had resulted in nothing but excuses.
“This is a very dangerous situation. Right now if you look you can see the water main there. If this tree comes down we will be out of all utilities – water, phone, light,” community activist Carlitha Andrews told Barbados TODAY as she pointed to the tree poised precariously over the high tension lines.
“Numerous calls to the Ministry of Transport and Works, all they are telling us is that the chainsaw is not working, they don’t have anything to cut the tree with . . . . This is people lives that they are
“God forbid and this tree comes down and kills somebody. What is going to happen? Are they going to come and say sorry? We don’t need that. We need urgent help up here. Taxpayers live in White Hill, we aren’t living in Africa, we living in White Hill. This is still Barbados. Why are we being treated like this? We are being unfaired.”
While Tropical Storm Don remained a threat, the residents were holding their breath that the tree would withstand the storm.
Therefore, there was a collective sigh of relief when the watch was lifted and Barbados was no longer in danger from the system.
“Thank God we didn’t have much rain up here yesterday. And if we had a lot only God knows that would have happened. Nobody would pass here, all the power would be gone, won’t even be able to cook or charge a cell phone to call for help. I called the Light & Power and they said it is a matter for the Ministry of Transport and Works,” Andrews said.
“It is hard living in White Hill,” the resident of 30 years lamented, as she emphasized the numerous challenges they faced, including an unreliable transport system that makes it difficult to get to work on time.
“People up in here lost their jobs already. Some are being threatened because the employers don’t care about people, they only care about getting their work done.
“The shuttle service does work according to how you get a Shorey Village bus and not too regular you does get one. Sometimes you get the bus every two or three hours, on bank holidays and Sundays it is three hours for sure. The service stinks.”
Like Andrews, Margret Gill said it was difficult coping without the basic necessities of life in a community they swore was being neglected because of its staunch support for the Opposition Barbados Labour Party.
Gill told Barbados TODAY she had been suffering for the last three years, adding that as a result of the poor condition of the road she was carrying an injury and was too scared to leave home.
“This is three years we have been battling with this here. Not even a makeshift track they gave us to walk on. It don’t take a genius to figure out this. They had money to help we, where the money is? Old people can’t get out, not even the young ones can and it isn’t fair. The same way they can build bridges over the sea, what happen to down here? But they are wicked.
“I fall down trying to walk down this bad road twice. I have arthritis in my knee and I fell so I am frightened. I don’t leave home. If I want something I send my daughter for it. I can’t get down in here. If I had to carry the medical bill they would say it is my fault, but where am I to walk?”
While the threat of a falling tree remains, Winston Chester said his job had been impacted because of the lack of transportation in the parish.
“I can’t work all day. I have to finish work early so I can get the bus. I have to get the bus very early . . . . When I get to work late the boss send me back,” he said.