Three months after 17-year-old Kyrique Boyce fell 100 feet to his death when the cover of a well collapsed under him, a stone’s throw away from his Pine, St Michael home, residents are still not satisfied with National Housing Corporation (NHC) efforts to address the issue of potentially dangerous manholes in the state-owned housing scheme.
They complained this morning that promises of follow-up checks on other wells had not been fulfilled, and even after rebuilding the concrete cover of the well into which Boyce fell, the NHC had not delivered on its undertaking to fence around it to prevent children playing on it.
During the Barbados TODAY team’s visit to the area, it appeared the initial work on that fencing had started, with a pole placed at each corner of the well.
One male resident said that the area where Boyce had died is now avoided by those in the community, but they still wanted the fence installed.
“Before Kyrique died, I used to bring out some chairs and the TV and we used to lime right out here, but that does not happen anymore. So I can’t say that children are in danger or anything so, but we would like them to put the fence around it as they promised, because that well is 100 feet deep.
“I was living here for [many] years and I didn’t know that it had such a deep hole behind there. My [two children] were playing on that same well the day before Kyrique fall in. They [NHC] come and build back the cover, they put down the four posts, and this is months now that they can’t come back and fence it,” he lamented.
“It is not that they didn’t do a good job covering the well, but we just don’t feel comfortable with it open like that, especially since the fear is still there,” he added.
Other residents told Barbados TODAY that NHC officials had promised to return to check on other well covers that were showing cracks and other evidence of structural fatigue, but that has also not been done.
“There are two wells right now . . . where you could see the cover cracking up. They promised to fix those too. People need to remember that the same well that boy fell in, was an area that people used to walk on for years and nothing ever happen before – until it happened,” said a female resident, who also did not want to be identified.
Boyce, a former student of the Daryl Jordan Secondary School, was on his way to purchase a roti on July 4 when the unthinkable happened. After the fatal fall, residents claimed they had been calling the NHC for over a year to repair the damaged well, and they lamented that it took the teenager’s death for the Government agency to respond.
Barbados TODAY made several attempts to reach Minister of Housing George Payne as well as Minister in the Ministry of Housing Charles Griffith but to no avail.