After six years of silence, residents of a St Andrew community whose main road has collapsed into a nearby gully are demanding solid answers from Government about how it will rectify their dire situation.
White Hill residents say that after years of unfulfilled promises, they no longer want talk and are instead demanding action.
Spokesperson Carlitha Andrews said the situation had gone from frustrating to ridiculous, in terms of the deathly silence from Government officials.
She said assurances were given by Prime Minister Mia Mottley even before her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was ushered into office in a landslide victory in the 2018 election, but nothing has yet come of those promises.
“She would have been down here on more than one occasion…. Since she gained office, she has not visited us and acknowledged that we still on the planet. It is not fair – when I sit down and see all the roads that they are doing, and we were promised the first order of the day was to do this road and we still down in here. They are not coming to tell us if they are moving us. All we are getting is promises,” Andrews lamented.
She also spoke about residents’ water woes.
“Look how we are living…. We living back in the 20th century – no water. All like now, as I speak, there is no water. Up to two weeks ago, I told the Water Works [Barbados Water Authority] man to don’t come back in my yard because I do not know what he does be reading. Don’t come back in my yard, because they tell me I have to pay for the meter. So, if I have to pay them for their meter, they have to pay me for keeping the meter on my property because nothing don’t flow,” the frustrated resident added.
When asked whether they had been any recent correspondence with Government, Andrews produced letters they had sent to several government departments, including the Prime Minister’s Office, but said they were mostly met with no responses.
Referencing one of the letters, she said: “This letter was a letter that was hand-delivered. There were three copies – one was made to the Prime Minister’s Office, one to the Ministry of Transport and Works, and one to the MP (George Payne). The one person that acknowledged that they got the letter was the MP. No one from the Prime Minister’s Office responded, and they were hand-delivered. They have been very disrespectful to the people of White Hill, we are the forgotten lot.”
Responding to reports circulating among social commentators about residents being offered the opportunity to move, Andrews not only denied there was ever discussion with residence about such a move but showed signed affidavits to support her point.
“Another thing I need to put to rest…. – they say that the people in White Hill were given the opportunity to move and they did not move, which is a lie. No one ever came and knocked from house to house to ask anyone up here if they want to move.
“Far from that, when the other administration was in office, their [lawyers] came and they took legal fees from people up in here and never returned. These are affidavits and these are receipts of the legal fees that they took from the people up in here and never came back. So, I would like [it] to be put to rest that people were given the opportunity to move and did not move. It is a lie,” she insisted.
Efforts to secure a comment from Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources Ian Gooding-Edghill on Monday were unsuccessful. (SB)