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IT MATTERS TO MARIA: Family splits as road slips

Maria Bradshaw

IT MATTERS TO MARIA: Family splits as road slips

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PHYLLIS?CUMBERBATCH?finally had to flee her house at Vaughns Road No.1, St Joseph, after the collapse of the road back in November.
But she is appealing for assistance in getting a roof over her head because she was forced to leave her two teenage children at her mother’s house.
The rural road where she used to live is severely damaged as a result of land slippage, and Government has still not made a determination on it as yet.
Cumberbatch, who is now staying at her boyfriend’s house at Braggs Hill, St Joseph, with her six-month-old baby, lamented that she had to leave her other two children behind because there was no room for them where she was staying.
“The children are very upset and I would like to have them back with me,” she stated.
She explained that the constant climbing on the collapsed road with her baby in arms became too much for her to bear since she also suffers with a back problem.
“After my story appeared, a doctor came into St Joseph looking for me and he has been giving me therapy free of charge for my back problem, and that has been working and I am very grateful to him,” she stated.
However, the unemployed woman pointed out that except for officials from the Soil Conservation Commission, who told her that Vaughns Road was unsafe, no other Government official had visited her.
“One day I received a telephone call from a man who told me he was from Rural Development Commission (RDC) and that he was coming to visit me. I?postponed my baby’s doctor’s appointment and waited for him a whole day, but he never turned up. When I contacted Rural, they told me that no one by that name worked there,” she said.
She pointed out that she left her information at the Commission but still no one had contacted her.
“I?would like Government to at least give me a spot so that I can move my house,” she said.
Cumberbatch, whose house and that of a relative were the only two homes close to the collapsed road, said last Saturday she discovered that someone had broken into her house and stolen some small items.
She said she was afraid to go back home because the land was still slipping and more cracks had appeared in the road.
A spokesman at RDC?said the agency would investigate the matter.