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Bushy mess all around her home

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Bushy mess all around her home

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NINETY-THREE-YEAR-old Wilhemena Roach is not a happy woman.

Her home in Grazettes, St Michael is surrounded by bush. And it is not of her making. The problem has its roots in an abandoned lot east of her residence which is overgrown with river tamarind, shrubs and trees.

The growth is so overwhelming and a road to the back of her house such “a bushy mess”, it is impossible to tell it was a road.

Roach, who lived in England for many years, said she returned to the island about 18 years ago but only recalled seeing the lot cleaned once. That was in 2004.

Frustrated by having to visit the Ministry of Health on so many occasions, the elderly woman said she had stopped complaining for some time.

However, the situation was such that she had to again visit the Ministry of Health to get some assistance about two months ago. Officials cleared a small area just next to her fence, but it has since regrown. 

She said the situation was a risk to the personal safety and health of the entire neighbourhood.

“I do not come out here after 5 o’clock [in the evening] because you do not know who is hiding in there,” she said.

She also said the bush was a breeding ground for rats that invaded her property. She is forced to keep her doors closed for fear of them getting in. She has also abandoned her kitchen garden after the rats took a liking to her sweet potatoes and cassava.

Roach said despite all her complaints over the years, she was still being told that no one knew to whom the lot next door belonged.

“They know who my spot belong to because they sent a solid waste tax bill for $374. I wonder how much they charge that owner of that overgrown lot?” a frustrated Roach asked. (LK)