Saying they are tired of having to share their homes with rats, residents of the Haynesville Housing Area in St James have called on the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Environment to help them get rid of the rodents that have invaded their community.
A few concerned residents reached out to Barbados TODAY to highlight the issues that have been causing the problem, including an “unofficial” garbage collection area and several old cars that have provided shelter for the rodents.
One woman who spoke on behalf of the residents but asked not to be named said they were living in a miserable situation.
“When I tell you these rats big, them like cats and the rats do come in people yards….You does have to shut up early. I does can’t leave my backdoor open,” she lamented, adding that the situation had negatively impacted their lives.
“I can’t live good in my own house because if any come in there I am running out.”
Thankfully, she reported, no one had yet reported any health problems related to the rodents.
“So far, so good, but if you can solve the problem don’t wait till somebody take sick to do something about it,” she added.
Irate residents pointed out an area concern – a makeshift garbage collection area. A Barbados TODAY team witnessed four large rodents in the area of the shed near the road tennis courts which children and residents frequent.
The spokeswoman said: “We need that move and let National Housing [Corporation] come and build one of the nice ones that they have around the neighbourhood so we can get rid of the rat problem. When it first started to build it was okay, but we started seeing a lot of these rats around lockdown last year.”
The residents reported that they have called the polyclinic and Member of Parliament for the area Sandra Husbands, but have still not yet received any help.
“I spoke to Sandra Husbands, and she say she will get rat bait, but she didn’t come and say anything. But them will wait till them want a vote to be coming around at people house. We need to get this sorted,” the spokeswoman insisted.
When Barbados TODAY contacted Husbands, she said: “We will get the bait for them. That is as much as we can do, but the MTW [Ministry of Transport and Works] will be doing a drive to pick up old cars because we have a big problem in the country with mechanics fixing cars. When they have old things they just leave them there when they need to move it or the owner of the vehicles needs to move it.”
“Unfortunately, Government does not enforce the fine on people who do those things. Those things are wrong. Periodically, the Government will alleviate the suffering in a community by picking up, so I know there have been discussions to have one of those. So, during that drive, we have identified down there as a place where a number of cars will have to move from there.”
When questioned about when this would happen, to give the residents relief, the MP said: “I would have to check with the Ministry as to when but it was something that should happen within a reasonable time.” ([email protected])