White Hill residents still waiting in vain

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Their plight is by no means new, but the question residents of White Hill, St Andrew desperately want answered is when will their torture end.

For nearly three years now they have been appealing for help in one form or another – be it for a basic necessity such as drinking water or for to the authorities to fix the broken down road leading into their rural district, which has for all intents and purposes been cut off from the rest of the country.

The makeshift road put in place by Government.

The road situation was made worse in November 2014 when heavy rains caused extensive land slippage and with the recent passage of Tropical Storm Harvey and Hurricane Maria what was already a living hell escalated into nothing short of a recurring nightmare.

“I wish that I had money so I could just pick my house up and move,” said outspoken resident Carlitha Andrews.

Carlitha Andrews

“It’s frustrating living down here and you must have a good mental faculty living in White Hill,” she said when a Barbados TODAY team checked in on the community this week, adding that the situation was really “beginning to play on our nerves.

“I mean it seems like my life is on hold. November 22nd coming is going to be three years that this has been going on and all we learning is from in the public domain,” she said, with the frustration very evident in her voice.

While accusing Government of abandoning the community, she pointed out that it has been two months since Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley had sought to reassure residents that help was around the corner, with Cabinet having approved plans for a comprehensive study of the area.

However, Andrews, who is dubbed the ‘mayor’ of the community, wants to know what is the true status of that proposal.

“I would like to find out from the minister what happened to this study he was claiming that he was doing that would take couple months.

“To me all them doing is talking in the media to make themselves look good [but] what they are saying is not true,” she said.

“I mean we still puzzled and we would like to know,” she stressed.

With the main road already compromised, Andrews warned that the situation was getting worse and worse, while predicting that one day soon “we are going to be trapped, because the road is going down”.

“This is negligence,” she stressed.

Her position was echoed by Suzanne Jemmott, who operates a shop in the village. She told Barbados TODAY the road situation was affecting her very livelihood.

“It’s the same old story. No help is coming, you just hearing occasionally, they will do something but nothing is being done. This is about three years now and nothing has been done.

“It’s really hard because all of my stuff has to go over to St Thomas by my mother and then I still have to get them out here.

“It is taking a toll on my transportation,” she said.

  A frustrated Jemmott also accused the authorities of paying lip service to the idea of relocating residents.

“Right now all we doing is living on shallow promises. Relocating honestly would be the last option for me.  I mean I love this area. It is not that we don’t want to move. If we don’t have a choice we would go, but honestly I prefer if they would fix the road,” she said.

Another resident, 60-year-old Ezra Jordan, who has lived in White Hill for his entire life, said he believes the road woes could be rectified but suggested there has always been an absence of political will.

Ezra Jordan

“It’s really nothing we the residents can do.  I born and raise in this area, but it all depends on the politicians,” he told Barbados TODAY while blaming both Government and the Opposition for the current situation since in his estimation “the Opposition put there to make sure that things go right where the Government is concerned”.   


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