Kingston residents wary as hurricane season approaches
Senior citizen Daphne Reynolds, who has been residing at Board Villa in Denham Town, Kingston, for the past 30 years, said she is often worried during the hurricane season because of the fragility of her one-bedroom dwelling.
In fact, the 83-year-old widow said she is even more concerned about her safety this year as experts have predicted a 65 per cent chance of an above normal season, which lasts from June 1 to November 30.
"When my husband was alive I wouldn't fret as much because he would be there to help me out. But because a me one now, mi fret when me hear bout hurricane, storm and dem things deh because my board house cyah tek no hard wind and dem things deh," said Reynolds. The mother of two told THE STAR on Monday that she experiences persistent flooding whenever it rains.
"Yuh see up there suh, when rain fall it come straight through pon me. But mi no have no weh fi go, so all me affi do is hope and pray," she said.
Reynolds said that she moved to Board Villa in 1989, a couple of years after it was built by the late former Prime Minister Edward Seaga. She added that although she would love to be living somewhere better and safer, she cannot afford a new home.
Her sentiments were echoed by Ricky, a security guard, who was forced to build a makeshift pathway for the water to travel in order to prevent flooding. He said that the issue is a long-standing one, and he along with other residents suffer immensely whenever it rains.
"If me never do that wi continue to get flood out. A years this stay suh. Whenever it rains the water come down and come inna everybody house. Me decide say mi cyah live so no more and mek dis concrete structure yah fi kinda stir the water out inna di drainage deh so," said the disgruntled resident, who also shared that many of the 200 persons in the small community use the same outside bathroom.
"Ma tell yuh when rain fall a crazy things gwan inna yah so, so this [the drain] did affi do, and we do this without the help of anybody," he added.
Jermaine Hyatt, councillor for the Denham Town Division, said that a 28-unit housing scheme has been built to address the issue, but said that there are plans to have them distributed.
"They had some infrastructure work to be done in terms of connection of the sewer and the electrical. From my understanding there was another contract that was issued out to deal with that aspect of it. I think that has been completed but you can't really quote me on that. There is a process that persons have to go through to acquire those houses and those persons have to be contributors to NHT [National Housing Trust]," said Hyatt.