As relatives and friends mourn the loss of 18-year-old Kyrique Boyce who died after falling into a well at Martin Road, The Pine, St Michael today, Member of Parliament for the area Santia Bradshaw is assuring residents that all necessary steps will be taken to prevent such a tragedy from recurring.
Following the incident, irate residents who believe the death could have been avoided, complained about the improper maintenance of the wells across the housing estate.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY this evening, Bradshaw said she had spoken to Minister in the Ministry of Housing Charles Griffith who following a visit to the scene, assured her that work would begin in the area as soon as possible, to ensure that all the wells were properly secured.
“He visited the area and I appreciate the fact that he was on the scene today to speak with the residents and to see exactly what was unfolding. He has given me the assurance that not just that well, but a number of the other wells that we would have been highlighting, that those too would be addressed,” the Member of Parliament said.
“I know that a number of others that require urgent attention would have been mentioned to him as well. Particularly with the upcoming summer vacation where children are going to be traversing the community, I think he understands the sense of urgency that is required in dealing with this matter, but also in giving some assurances to families in the community that their children can play and be in a safe environment in the area. He has assured me that the relevant officers would be deployed from tomorrow to be able to start to do the audit of the estate,” she added.
Bradshaw, who expressed her condolences to Boyce’s mother via a telephone call, described the young man’s death as a tragedy, which she said drove her to tears since she has known him and his family for some time.
“I feel as though he is one of my own. I feel as though he is one of my children. It really hurts me to know that he has lost his life in this way. My heart really goes out to the family at this time and to the community as we mourn the loss of a young man whose life has been taken from him in this way,” she said.
However, Bradshaw said that the issue of poor maintenance of wells and other aspects of housing estates was not one that was unique to the Pine. The Member of Parliament said that for several years, she has been calling for a proper maintenance programme to be put in place in relation to housing estates.
“These issues are not new. The inspectors would have been aware of these issues over the years and no doubt these issues would have had to been brought to the attention of the hierarchy within the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
“This is not of the creation of this administration. Certainly, we know what the priorities are, but it has been very difficult on coming to office to be able to address the things in an urgent manner, given the limited resources that are available.
“This is not about blaming one administration or the other. This matter needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency,” she said.