Claxton Bay landslip victims: 'No help as yet'

Marva Fritz shows Newsday the new areas of erosion at the back of her house after the weekend rainfall at Diamond Road Claxton Bay on Monday. - ROGER JACOB
Marva Fritz shows Newsday the new areas of erosion at the back of her house after the weekend rainfall at Diamond Road Claxton Bay on Monday. - ROGER JACOB

As a young girl, Marva Fritz hunted and fished in the land behind her home at Diamond Road, Claxton Bay.

But while she has fond memories of growing up in the area, envisioning a future isn’t so easy.

Fritz’s home was one of the houses damaged by a landslip at 3am on September 15.

She’s now abandoned the house, which was severely damaged, and is sleeping by relatives next door.

But their home is also at risk of collapse, given the land’s instability.

When Newsday visited on Monday, the affected families said they were still waiting for any form of assistance they could get.

Fritz told Newsday, “The land has been moving more with the heavy rain. We are in fear.

“After the rain yesterday (Sunday), everything changed. We never used to see the quarry behind the houses, and now we seeing it.

“When you experience something like that and you hear a creak, you figure something will happen again. We are really in fear and we have been hearing noises. We don’t know what to do, nothing.”

Even if it is temporary housing until a permanent home is found, Fritz continues to ask the authorities for help so her family can move out of the unsound structures they once called home.

She lamented, “We only pleading for somewhere to stay and be comfortable. Knowing this situation with the land, you can’t sleep. If you’re sleeping (in this situation), you have to have a heart that nobody else have, because it so dangerous.”

Nardera Ramsaran-Williams’s home has been cracking like Fritz’s. Ramsaran-Williams showed Newsday numerous cracks she said had appeared since the landslip.

For several days afterwards, she and her family slept in their two cars. But given safety issues and the discomfort, they have returned home and are now sleeping on mattresses on the floor.

Since Social Development and Family Services Minister Donna Cox visited the displaced homeowners on September 19, they say they have been given no updates.

Ramsaran-Williams told Newsday Cox told them that "she will get back in contact with us, because she wrote the letter to HDC, and up to now we haven’t heard anything."

Meanwhile she said, “Our front room is starting to crack and I don’t feel safe at all in the house. We aren’t feeling good at all with the rain we’ve been getting, because we know the houses could slip down.”

Contacted for comment, Cox told Newsday officials from her ministry have been regularly liaising with the families.

She said they were offered counselling services and rental assistance, which they rejected,and her ministry cannot provide housing.

But Cox said she has been working with Housing Minister Penelope Beckles, whose ministry is working to see how it can assist the families.


"Claxton Bay landslip victims: ‘No help as yet’"

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