Politicians keep Labour Day promise - Work begins on new house for woman

May 24, 2017
Chemeita Smith looks at the construction being done on her new home.
Men get down to business on the construction site.

Chemeita Smith, the St Ann woman whose house crumbled with her last month, is beaming with joy as councillor for the Beecher Town division, Ian Bell, and Member of Parliament for South East St Ann, Lisa Hanna, kept their promise to start the rebuilding of her home as the constituency's Labour Day project.

“All the time I hear that politicians just full of promises, but today I can speak for Mr Bell and Miss Hanna, and I want to thank them,” Smith told THE STAR, after watching the reconstruction of her home come to life. “I feel really good. I can’t find words to explain how I am feeling.”

After the ordeal that left Smith temporarily homeless, Bell and Hanna promised her that they would use money from the Labour Day Project fund to start the rebuilding of her house.

Bell, who was overseeing the project, expressed satisfaction at the way members of the Parry Town community and other neighbouring communities in the constituency rallied around the project.

“I am really overwhelmed with by the community effort,” Bell said. “As we speak now, there are about 50 persons who are still here and we have been working from morning. This morning we had more persons, and right now we are just having the afternoon shift coming in.”

He continued: “I have indicated to Miss San (Smith), just before you call, that I am going to be paying a few men to continue some work tomorrow and the day after. And I am going to be soliciting help from other stakeholders to see if we can get funding to complete one room and a bathroom so she can move in by  June."

On April 23, while in the shower getting ready for church, Smith's two-storey house fell off the three columns that held its weight. When her son pulled her from under the rumbles, she realised that it was a barrel containing towels that prevented the concrete roof from crushing her.

"I was trapped under a big piece of concrete, and I don't know where he found the strength, but him push it off me and took a towel from the barrel and wrap it round mi because I was naked," Smith told THE STAR at the time.


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