An elderly Clifton Hall, St John man is fed up of asking for help with fixing his one bedroom wooden structure which is in dire need of repair.
Seventy-nine-year-old Percy Howell told Barbados TODAY that he has depended on promises from Members of Parliament and has still not received the help he so desperately needs.
He said he asked the previous Member of Parliament for St John to help him replace rotted boards, install new flooring as the old one is disappearing and fix the roof.
However, Howell said that the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) representative promised help was coming, but it never came.
He also said that even before last May’s election, he put forward his case about his living conditions to now sitting Member of Parliament Charles Griffith who won on a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) ticket. Howell said the new MP assured him that he would look into the matter but he has had no update on whether the help is coming.
When contacted, Griffith assured Barbados TODAY that Howell’s home was one of the houses in St John that was being processed by the Rural Development Commission (RDC) to be repaired under the roof and pit toilet replacement programme, but noted that it cannot happen immediately, because a process must be followed.
“It so bad that I changed my mind and I vote for these people now because she used to promise me all the time that she gine come. You know you does try to help the people that got it bad. I went up to the BLP man office just up the road there and the girl there write up things and tell me that he would come a weekend, but I never see him come.
“My situation real bad and I really need the help. I got to sleep in the living room on a night if the rain fall, because I can’t sleep in the bedroom because water does come through the ceiling. The ceiling real bad. When the rain fall the water does wet all over the house, but the bedroom really bad. The house rotten; the galvanise and the boards rotten. All the time them say them coming to look at the house and nobody ain’t coming. But I need the help now because the roof really bad and I looking at the rains coming,” Howell said.
The former plantation worker who said he experiences difficulty trying to spend his pension on necessities, said he was asking for help to repair the house which his mother died and left for him, as he does not know where to “even start looking for money” to repair the structure. Howell said if he could have done better, he would not “be begging nobody to help me right now.
“Please I would like some help before it rotten. I am just asking for lil help to repair the house. I ain’t got no children, or I feel I would get some help now if I had. If I had the money, I would get the money and try to do it myself. If I had the money I wouldn’t even confuse Mr Griffith. I work at a plantation for 21 years and when I reach old aged pension in October 2016, and stop working there, I ain’t get no pay out money and I work for 27 years. Right now I trying to patch here and patch there, but the wood that I using to patch bad too so the problem ain’t really solving, I would just like some help please, to tell you the truth. I would be grateful to anybody that help me now,” Howell said.
Griffith said while he understood the elderly man’s frustration, he had reached out to Howell and assured him that his home was on the list to be repaired.
“There is only so many contractors that are doing the work and the reality is that he is one that is waiting. We just haven’t gotten to him as yet, and that is all. Help is definitely coming to him. It would be remiss of me not to do something for a house that is so close to the branch office. He came to the office and I spoke to him. Every Wednesday evening without fail, unless it is an emergency meeting by the party, I do clinic at the location,” Griffith said.
The Member of Parliament informed Barbados TODAY that about four houses in the constituency have benefitted from the RDC programme so far. However, Griffith said he was not in the business of “showing off” the newly-repaired houses, noting that his constituents deserved their privacy.