A twin sacrificed almost every single thing they owned along with their wants and their favourites for eight years to build their dream home, but the plot on which they live is bringing them much agony, pain and tears.
Living in St Philip North, the Butcher twin took to Instagram Live tonight to appeal to government for help and assistance with a drainage issue that is plaguing their home.
Juanne said, “Sacrifice is needed,” but for all they sacrificed, the twins are up in arms and at wit’s end with their “unfair” situation. “We are calling on government to come and see. We want the prime minister to intervene. Yes she does not work with roads but she has the voice and authority. We need the help… It can’t be right…. I’m not shutting up and I’m not giving up… I need anybody in authority to come and help us. We can’t afford to be buying over things that we buy already. We cannot give up. We need the help. We are not giving up…
“We don’t want the help, we need it.”
They said that the problematic drain flows into a well, but when the catchment is full, that is when all hell breaks lose for the sisters. They told the over 300 viewers on the Live that the water overflows the sidewalk and flows onto their premises and it has flooded their basement. “It is nothing from our property that is affecting us.” They said one official who visited their home said “even a second well cannot accommodate the water, the water needs to be channeled away”.
The sisters, who started building their home at 24 years old, were moved to tears on Instagram as they talked about thousands of dollars in appliances – washing machine, dryer, fridge and deep freezer, that were destroyed when the water rose above the height of their stored items in their basement in 2019. They talked about lost buckets of paints, trowel plaster, steel and other raw materials.
The sisters showed their original application from Town and Country Planning to build on their property in St Philip as well as their copy. They said that they followed all the protocols to build their home for them and their children.
“We ain’t get up and build the house. We got permission. We follow the guidelines. We not mad people. On the second page of this document they have guidelines. So why we do everything that is right and still being punished now?”
Ju and Joy said that they went to the Drainage Division in 2020 and that investigations were conducted. They said that the second person who visited the home in Padmore Village he did not report to his superiors. Speaking in unison, they said, “He did not!” After getting no response, they went into the office and his superior questioned the absence of a record of the property visit in their presence. The drain and well were cleaned within a week of that visit and a skip was placed on their property. But that was a temporary fix for their ongoing problem.
The pair, who are unemployed, showed letters they received confirming that their letters to the Transport and Works Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office were received. “That was all that was sent. It was just a response acknowledging. Nobody came.”
They said that they went to their representative in St Philip North desperately about their distress when they were living in their home without a well “to no avail” as well. “We needed help with the well, we didn’t have food, we didn’t have money, we needed the well so that we could stop bathing on the step at 4:30 am. So why after we struggle and get the well, we have to be in this position? All it calls for is some compassion.”
“The sad part” about this, according to the sisters is they only just fully moved into the home in March 2022, with furniture to be comfortable.
Feeling exasperated, hurt and frustrated, the two who are unemployed at this time, said, “Everything that we just accomplish is being taken from us. It is a lot. It is just a lot. This was not easy for us. We had to do a lot of sacrificing…
“But we are a testimony that we will survive, as for me and my household we will praise God. He keeps. He restores… He provides.”
Juanne said, “God is able to do everything that you ask for.” and her sister Joyanne added, “exceedingly and abundantly”.
But despited being “Grateful to God,” they stressed that they have sacrificed to the point of selling their jewellery, their dresses, clothes, shoes, and everything to invest in their home. In addition to seeking help from government, they said, “We came to this place to tell a testimony.” They said that they were afraid to come out and share their fears and their suffering because people may see it as “showing off,” but “we are asking the government to assist us with the drain issue.”
The two insisted they are not giving up and not giving in on this issue this time. They said they are not letting this die. “What happened in 2019 is not happening again. I am not going to lay down and play dead. I will keep on trying… It is only fair. How much more sacrifice do we have to make? We suffered and sacrificed… all we need is the right things to be done for us… We just want government step in and compensate for all the things we have lost. Some of these things we are still paying for.”
Ju, who lives downstairs in the two-storey home and has seen mold appearing in her home because of the water, said, “I feel like we are being pushed back when we got this far… This can be rectified…We need them [government] to hear our cry… We need an ease.”
Joy cried at the end of the IG Live saying, “People would ask why yuh crying?… Yuh crying because every time you make a step to begin to live and enjoy, you getting push down…
“We need help. Our house is on columns we cannot afford for it to come down. We had to buy back everything in 2019. They came, they saw and they left us. This time it is is different. It is harder…We want to live. We want to be at peace. We want a solution.”
Juanne said, “I tired crying… This ain’t easy.”