While residents of White Hill in St. Andrew say they are pleased with efforts to fix the main road going through their district and some resolution of their water shortage, they called Monday for some clarity on their future.
Last week, technicians from the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance were in the area drilling boreholes to carry out geotechnical studies. Chief Technical Officer Phillip Tudor explained the work will determine where the road should run and what type of road it should be.
He said: “What we are doing is boreholes, that is where we drill, let’s say, 100-feet deep to see what the soil profile is going to be like, and it informs us what type of structure we should put there at White Hill. It lets us know what the soil type is like and it allows us to determine if we should build a bridge or piles or whatever the solution would be at that location.”
But speaking to Barbados TODAY for the residents, Carlitha Andrews said: “For the last six or seven years, we have heard about people carrying out tests, but no one ever came back to tell us what the test results were. Ever since 2014, we have wanted this road done. But if the road cannot be done, just move us from up here because we don’t know whether to sit, stand or go; our lives are on hold and we have been crying out for too long with no answers.
“We have been calling for town hall meetings on this issue ever since Adam was a lad but we were not getting any response. I don’t know why, but I hope someday we will get one so that everyone up here will get a chance to air their views, but another problem is, who do we air these views with? We would talk to the Member of Parliament for the area when we see him, but he can only do so much and he is doing all that he can, but apart from him, who else?
“My dream is to see the traffic flowing freely through here again, which will make life easier for everybody. It is not easy when, for example, you are coming up with lots of groceries on the Shorey Village bus, then you have to take those groceries off the bus and transfer them to the shuttle to bring you in here, then offload them again. It can be quite stressful.”
Andrews said despite their living conditions, the White Hill residents had shown great resilience and were prepared for any and every emergency that came their way. “We have grown accustomed to living in fear since 2014 so we are always prepared for everything.” she said. “We are used to helping ourselves and we will continue to do so for as long as we have to, because when you ask for help and you’re not getting it, the next best thing to do is help yourself.”
But the White Hill spokeswoman said she was pleased to see some progress was being made for the villagers.
She told Barbados TODAY: “The bus service has improved, and for the last couple of weeks the water supply has improved, so I must say kudos to the minister responsible, and I hope they continue to work on our behalf. It is about time.
“I am seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel and I hope it’s the right light we are supposed to see. We are seeing some movement and I hope it continues and that they are either putting a road in place or planning to move us. It is time that we settle and live like normal citizens of this country.” (DH)