Still facing treacherous conditions nearly five years after harrowing land slippage threatened their homes and their lives, residents of White Hill, St Andrew are remaining hopeful that a solution is around the corner.
However, they want the relief to come sooner rather than later.
Residents told Barbados TODAY they wanted work on the road to happen faster, but pointed to the unofficial spokeswoman for the community Carlitha Andrews.
Andrews said since the change in Government there has been some improvements in at least the efforts to fix the road. She explained that officials were communicating with residents and visiting the location more regularly.
“It might look like it is taking long, but we all know the financial situation that the country is in. However, the Member of Parliament for the area and the Ministers of Transport and Works visit the area frequently. Up to three weeks ago they were here doing a walk-through to assess the situation. So we are being patient because we are seeing a lot more improvements,” she said.
It was back in 2014 that the area was virtually cut off due to a major landslide that destroyed the main access road.
And after an assessment, the then Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration promised that 22 residents would be relocated to Farmers, St Thomas and there would be no resettlement in the Scotland District community which is prone to land slippage.
Only a handful of the residents have since moved.
When a Barbados TODAY team visited the community this afternoon, it was clear some roadwork had started, albeit slowly.
No workmen were on site, but a number of gabions, some half-filled with rocks, and an excavator, could be seen at the side of the road. Further along, a number of empty gabions lined the narrow roadway.
Andrews said residents were still concerned about the shortage of buses, adding that they preferred if the shuttle would take them straight to Bridgetown instead of down the hill to wait for a bus, which they were uncertain would show.
“I for one would like that too. So that is one of the challenges. We face a lot of challenges up in here. But honestly, since the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has gained Government our life is not the best, but it is a lot better than what we were living with before with the past administration,” she said.
She insisted that residents were not neglected since they were having “frequent visits” from the government officials.
“We don’t feel neglected because we see what is going on and we understand the financial situation, and it is not going to happen overnight. However, we are thankful,” she added.
One man who did not want to be identified, said while he was happy to see some work taking place, he was not satisfied that “they are stopping, doing and stopping”.
“It is really tough for me. That is the truth,” he said, pointing out that since the slippage he had suffered a stroke.
Since then, it has become even more difficult for him to traverse the precarious area to get to the shuttle.
Pointing out that the transfer vehicle did not work every day, and that would mean he would have to walk further to get the bus, the man said he wanted authorities to “decide what they are doing”.
“If they are moving people, move people. If they are fixing the road, get serious and fix the road. Right now I can’t say they are serious about this, because the few people they have they gone already,” he complained as he pointed to the half empty gabions.
One resident said the last truckload of rocks that was being transported to the area did not make it because the truck was having trouble climbing the hill leading to the area.
The residents said they had also experienced water outages in recent times. [email protected]
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