Folks want out
RENEWED PRESSURE is being put on Government to find house spots for up to 150 families living in Emmerton, The City, who are to be relocated for health reasons related to the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant.
Senior Counsel Robert “Bobby” Clarke, who represents 169 Emmerton households, said he had written successive Ministers of Housing and of Health over the past six years, and had been given assurances by both administrations that action would be taken.
But he added that fewer than 20 families had been moved.
Of those, he said about 19 had been given keys to homes in Upper Barbarees Hill, but there were some five other families who were awaiting adjustments to the houses and the greenlight from Government to move in.
The attorney explained that some families had refused to move because of “inadequate accommodation” provided.
Clarke, who is also representing the householders in an ongoing class action suit against Government related to the possible ill-effects suffered by residents of the Sewage Treatment Plant, said he had first become involved in the matter in 2005, but despite several meetings with Government officials, there had been “limited movement”.
One long-standing City resident, a Ms Fowler, said that in January, she was told that “in another four weeks” she would be able to move into her new home in Upper Barbarees Hill, but up to two weeks ago when she visited the site, the workmen had still not completed promised adjustments to the newly constructed house.
She put the blame partly on the contractors and the Government for the slow pace at which work was being done, noting that the original structure had space and design flaws.
“I am anxious to leave this area [Emmerton]. It is not only about the stench, and because of my health, but this area is not the same.
“A lot of people have moved into the area from other districts and it is just not as safe any more. Some nights I cannot sleep.”
She has lived in the area since 1967, but now just wants “to get from here”.
The houses at Barbarees Hill were completed three years ago, but a number of people to be relocated expressed disappointment with the design, many complaining about the small bedrooms and kitchen areas, as well as of the general surroundings.
Last night a Government official said most of the issues related to the Upper Barbaress Hill houses had been resolved and that the majority of the homes were now being lived in.
The immediate priority, explained the official, was to relocate those families living nearest to the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant.
Meanwhile, the class action suit against the Barbados Water Authority is expected to continue in the High Court on Friday.