The problems in the Pine which are now being brought to the fore have plagued that St Michael community for decades.
And Minister of the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey, himself a former resident, has advised Government to address the worrisome situation which led to the death of Kyrique Boyce last Thursday.
The 17-year-old died after the cover of a well on which he was standing collapsed, sending him spiralling 100 feet.
He was eventually rescued but passed away soon after at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).
Speaking in Parliament this morning during debate on the Vesting and Disposal of lands at Colleton Plantation, St Lucy, to the National Housing Corporation (NHC), Humphrey said the issue of people falling into wells in the Pine was not new.
He said Boyce’s death was especially difficult for him because he knew the deceased’s family.
“I believe a lot of these large housing schemes were meant to tackle a housing problem without careful consideration to the other problems they may cause…and I believe in the last ten years those issues were compounded by a lack of maintenance, a lack of regard for the people who live in these areas…
“But the issues in the Pine are pervasive, perennial and persistent. I have known those problems in the Pine my whole life,” the Minister said.
“When I was a boy there was a lady who was skipping on a well in the Pine, the well collapsed under her weight. This is something I saw for myself, nobody didn’t tell me, and the men formed a human chain link and they went in the well and they pulled her out…the thought of it still irks me.”
Humphrey said Government could not merely wait for the situation to “blow over” but had to be speedy in dealing with the issues.
“I heard someone say that this is going to blow over because the Government is going to let it blow over, because that is what Governments do.
“But these issues in housing are of such significance that I do not believe that any right-thinking Government can let them blow over,” Humphrey maintained.
He explained that Government was now trying to do its best to rectify the dire situations it faced across all of the ministries, left by the former administration.
However, he said despite being left “a bad hand” the Mia Mottley-led administration was doing everything in its power to find solutions to these problems.
“The problem is that we inherited such a bad hand. We inherited a situation where you could pick any ministry in this country, you could pick almost any institution, any infrastructure and recognize that the state of the institution or the infrastructure is so terrible, as to be in jeopardy itself,” Humphrey said.
“We now find that whole situation across the country compounded by the fact that the Government inherited a situation where there was no money. So we now have to fix all of these things in the shortest possible timeframe with very limited resources.”
Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.
Sign up and stay up to date with Barbados' FREE latest news.