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February 15, 2013
Star News


Eight years after Hurricane Ivan, still...NO HOME - Unhappy residents unable to move into homes built for them
Rasbert Turner, Star Writer

One of the houses built by the Venezuelan government in Old Harbour Bay for victims of Hurricane Ivan. - FIle

Residents of Old Harbour Bay in St Catherine are unhappy that, more than eight years after the passage of Hurrican Ivan, they are yet to move into the houses that were built for them.

The 75-unit Bourkesfield Housing Scheme was constructed for persons displaced during the passage of Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The houses were a gift from the Venezuelan government, but the persons who were supposed to benefit are yet to do so. In fact, at one point, squatters had occupied some of the houses.

"The houses were built as a gift to Jamaica by the Venezuelan government. But people just do what dem want. It overgrown with bush," a resident from the nearby Blackwood Gardens said.

no running water

The point was reinforced by persons who said they had written down their names for houses, but were yet to receive them.

When THE WEEKEND STAR visited the area, several of the houses were occupied. There was no running water or electricity in the scheme.

"Yes, a wi live in yah. Wi nuh care who fa name did deh pon list. Mek dem man go buy house fi dem, a so di ting set," one of the occupants said.

Other persons said they feel that it's time for the persons who were made homeless by the storm to benefit.

"I was told that, by now, we would be given a house and, all now, mi can't move een it tough," Jessica Patterson said.

Her views were echoed by others who not only wanted the houses, but called for a better management to be put in place.

Meanwhile, Councillor Peter Davis said the scheme needed to be properly handed over.

"I will be contacting the Health Department as there are no proper sanitary conveniences, no light or running water," Davis said.

He said the persons who were displaced are in need of the houses and, in some cases, their names have been left off the list.

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