Residents of Juan de-Bolas in the Lluidas Vale Division of St. Catherine North West feel abandoned by the authorities, which are yet to respond to their plight caused by Tropical Storm Grace that pummeled the community five days ago, August 17.
There is no electricity in the area due to fallen power lines, and the main road has been blocked in two parts by landslides.
The fallen wires do not pose a threat to anyone minded to clear the roadway.
According to the residents, they are yet to see or hear from their Member of Parliament Hugh Graham, who visited sections of the constituency since the storm.
Graham, when contacted, said the affected roadway in Juan de-Bolas belongs to the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation – not central government.
But he said he has been trying to have the situation addressed.
“I am speaking with the parish council (St. Catherine Municipal Corporation) as it is their road…” Graham told The Beacon.
The Lluidas Vale Division, which includes most of Juan de-Bolas, has been without an elected councillor since last year when the then councillor, Graham, resigned and successfully contested the general election.
A resident of Juan de-Bolas, Dave Moiten, better known as ‘Irah’, said his residence has been affected badly by one of the landslides as well as the storm.
They dumped dirt onto his property, left a tree hanging precariously beside his house, and diverted a relatively large volume of water onto his property – almost flooding his house that is occupied by four people.
Moiten told The Beacon that, since the storm, he has been trying hard to set his residence back in order, but extra help is needed especially to have the road cleared.
Another resident, Seymour McFarlane, better known as ‘Berry’, a motorist, has been hit with travelling woes because the main road is blocked.
“Wi don’t know if we will get any help from anybody,” he said, adding that residents are mulling how they can help themselves.
He noted that, in one section of the community, a fallen Jamaica Public Service Company pole, which has electrical wires attached to it, is posing a major threat to one household. “That is very dangerous,” he emphasized.
McFarlane also explained that the main road, which runs from Pennington and Lluidas Vale to Juan de-Bolas, is in dire need of repair.
He said, even when the two landslides are cleared, motorists will have a tough time using that main road.
The alternative route is not much better, McFarlane added.
The alternative, which takes people to Garden Hill and Kentish districts, is located in the constituency of West Central St. Catherine, where Dr. Christopher Tufton is Member of Parliament. “We have a lot of landslides going up to Kentish, back to Garden Hill side. It is very terrible,” McFarlane told The Beacon.
He wondered what residents of Juan de-Bolas would do if a medical emergency should arise.
“Right now, if wi have a sick, wi don’t know how dem will leave [Juan de-Bolas],” he lamented.
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