Willowdene Gardens residents hope for road repairs
It is a bumpy ride getting into Willodene Gardens in St Catherine. The streets of the urban community are littered with huge potholes which have been made worse by persistent rainfalls over the past days.
The water-filled holes have been making life miserable for pedestrians and motorists alike and the residents are complaining that the settlement of stagnant water is also attracting mosquitoes at a time when there is an outbreak of dengue.
One such resident is Garth Campbell, who said he is forced to stay indoors whenever it rains.
"A lot of us are marooned inside our homes when it rains. We can't come on our sidewalk because the water keeps settling here. I owned this house from 1993 and the roads have never been smooth. It wasn't always this bad but now it has really got out of hand. When it rains, it's like a pond, we could catch a 10 pound fish here. Just recently I saw a lady walking and I thought she had come to see me because she basically had to walk in my yard to pass the water," he said.
Campbell said residents had to pick spots when they were walking.
"I use a cane to walk around and I don't own a car so I have to depend on someone to take me to the supermarket and some days I just can't go anywhere," said Campbell. "Taxi men charge extra to bring passengers down these streets when rain fall because they are wrecking their vehicles. We have had several community meetings but it doesn't make a difference because each agency we contact are saying that they are not responsible for the road so we really don't know what's going on but all I know is that these potholes are like lakes, they could drown someone easily."
Similar sentiments were echoed by another frustrated resident, Orlando Senior, who said he is forced to shell out thousands of dollars weekly to buy front end parts to repair his vehicle.
"Sometimes I observed persons lifting up their children whenever they have to take out their kids. Persons can hurt themselves in these holes. A lot of the residents here are returning residents so a lot of them are up in age. So it's bad. I have spent a lot of money on my vehicle for repairs.
Senior said he is imploring the relevant authorities to repair and maintain the roads adding that it is currently hazardous and can lead to major automobile accidents.
"We are paying our taxes that is required, so the least we can get is good roads. I am not trying to tear down anyone but I have been to places where electricity wires are thrown up in communities and looks like cobweb, but their roads are smooth. Yet we are paying our taxes and have to settle for these conditions," Campbell added.
Calls to the Member of Parliament for St Catherine South Central, Dr Andrew Wheatley, went answered.