Residents of Country View Estate at Lowthers, St Patrick’s, have expressed concern for their safety as weather conditions deteriorate with the passage of Tropical Storm Dorian.
Acting as spokeswoman for her neighbours, Theresa Small told Barbados TODAY that they are worried that pieces of lumber, buckets, cement bags and other paraphernalia left behind by workers of Apex Construction, the developer, would become missiles as the storm strikes.
The Christ Church residents said they have made several calls to the developer to have the debris removed before the storm “affects us” and “have not been successful”.
A frustrated Small said: “This is dangerous because it is next to people that are living in houses.
“We hardly have houses that are empty. They are saying that they would have to deal with it after.
“It can’t be after because you don’t know what is going to happen… and up here floods really bad. That is real debris, that is dangerous out there.
“Workers worked up to Saturday and Sunday and someone came up to this morning to clean the well, take out what was in the well and put it right next to the well, they ain’t move it.”
When contacted, the owner of the development Benjamin Niles said he was aware of the issues and was not “ dodging” responsibility. He explained that given the two-hour change in time for the national shutdown, nothing could be done in time to rectify the situation.
Niles told Barbados TODAY: “We have some contractors working for us, we spoke to them in relation to the issues, they made every effort.
“We are satisfied that they made every effort to get bobcats and labourers this morning but it was just impossible.
“They couldn’t get anybody to come out to work and therefore the situation remains as it is for the time being. So there was actually nothing that could be done under the circumstances.”
When questioned on the issue of safety given the storm, Niles said: “There is nothing there to [impact] any lives.
“Whole sheets is what is going to blow in the winds but no pieces of wood is going to blow in wind that is 65-70 miles per hour, not from on the ground.
“The garbage will fly about a bit but certainly it is not something that is life-threatening.
“And we will certainly deal with it after because we just can’t get labour to do something at the moment.
“I mean this morning the word from the Prime Minister was don’t go to work unless it’s absolutely necessary so when the subcontractors tried to reach the bobcat workers they were not available to come out to work.
“The effort was to get it happen this morning and that became impossible because even the garbage trucks went off the road for ten o’clock this morning. It just was not possible this morning.
“But we are certainly aware and… if the garbage is [spread] around we will deal with it for sure immediately after but we don’t think there is anything there life-threatening.
“Everything I have said to you, I have said to them. We don’t dodge our responsibilities, we are responsible for it, we are not dodging that in any way.”
But Small said Niles’s response as not good enough, questioning whether the developer would accept the cost of damage from the flying materials.
She said: “The crews need to get in the habit of cleaning up after themselves after they work.
“They need to do that, it’s been going on too long.”
Small who has lived at the development for several years added: “There are buckets and stuff, these things are going to blow, he can do better than that. They don’t care, this could have been done since yesterday.”
Small said she was only able to contact the parliamentary representative for the area, John King, this evening about the problem.