Port­land home threat­ened af­ter col­lapse of re­tain­ing wall

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION&COMMENTARY - Gareth Davis Sr Gleaner Writer ru­ral@glean­erjm.com

THE COL­LAPSE of a re­tain­ing wall at Pleas­ant Hill district, Port­land, dur­ing heavy rains on Satur­day night has left three oc­cu­pants of a two-bed­room con­crete house on edge as on­go­ing earth shift­ing is now threat­en­ing their lives.

The down­ing of the re­tain­ing wall has also re­sulted in a ma­jor breakaway, which is be­ing ex­ac­er­bated by a nearby river. Earth move­ment is also vis­i­ble and the in­clement weather which has been af­fect­ing the parish over the past two weeks con­tin­ues to wreak havoc on res­i­dents.

Yes­ter­day, The Gleaner vis­ited the area and saw the breakaway, brought about by the overnight rain, which is threat­en­ing to dis­rupt the home of a mother and her two chil­dren who are en­coun­ter­ing sleep­less nights dur­ing the heavy rains.

“Un­less re­me­dial work is done, I could lose my home,” said Veron­ica Pink, the mother of the two small chil­dren.

“I have been liv­ing here for six years and the sit­u­a­tion gets worse when­ever there is a heavy down­pour. It is rather frus­trat­ing for us as, even when we are wrapped up in our beds, the slight­est driz­zle puts us on edge as we know that a dis­as­ter is just wait­ing to hap­pen,” she added.

Owner of the prop­erty, Keith Edwards, told The Gleaner that the sit­u­a­tion could have been rec­ti­fied by the parish coun­cil some years ago, but that, as an agency of the State, the coun­cil is more re­ac­tive rather than proac­tive.

“Another heavy down­pour could very well see this house end­ing up in the river,” said Edwards, who is also a re­tired mem­ber of the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force.

“I have been mak­ing fre­quent com­plaints to the Port­land Parish Coun­cil since 2006 about the state of the re­tain­ing wall, which is be­ing con­stantly un­der­mined by the river. I have been made all kinds of prom­ises and, to­day, this is the re­sult of their neg­li­gence and in­com­pe­tence. This wall was built in the 1960s and it has aged over time. Agents of the State need to be proac­tive rather than re­ac­tive,” he added.

PHOTO BY GARETH DAVIS

Site of on­go­ing earth move­ment near a house at Pleas­ant Hill in Port­land.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.