Minister Broomes peers into the home of the family Sunday monring
Eight years after a five year old girl, Tomecia Hackett died when a tree fell on her home at Buffer Dam, North East LaPenitence back in 2011, a family of seven on Sunday escaped with their lives when a similar occurrence took place, this time in Tucville at a location known as the ‘BIG Yard’ where a tree fell on a the squatting home.
The residents in the BIG Yard have been living there for years after they were brought from other locations. Sometime last year, they began receiving government attention when then Minister of Natural Resources, now Youth Affairs Minister, Simona Broomes spotted the un-regularized settlement while on one of her recreational morning rides.
Lukesha Hackett related that during the heavy down pour on Sunday morning, they were alerted to the loud cracking sounds followed by a huge crashing sound. One of the many trees which tower over the shacks residents dwell in, came crashing down on her home.
Miraculously, she nor none of her children were injured in the process. The woman explained that her youngest child is six months old.
The residents are now calling on the Ministry of Communities, Central Housing and Planning Authority and Department of Housing to look into some concerns they have.
They indicated that several months ago, they were visited by two ministers, Broomes and former Housing Minister Valarie Yearwood and a team from the Central Housing and Planning Authority.
During that meeting, the residents were assured that the area would be regularized and that they would also receive assistance in getting the trees which tower over their dwellings; removed for the safety of all who live in the compound but to date, that has not been done.
When the tree fell on the house Sunday last, it also damaged a Fridge in which Hackett (no relation to family affected eight years ago) would usually store beverage to sell as a means of income for herself and children.
Minister of Youth Affairs Simona Broomes who visited the ‘BIG Yard’ on Sunday pledged to bring some sort of relief to the family.
On Tuesday, she purchased a brand new refrigerator and had it delivered to the family for them to continue their small business.
Broomes in speaking with the press stated that the move was one which came from herself and family as a deed for the season of giving.
She also made it clear that she was in no position to give handouts to the families as she was more interested in giving them an opportunity to continue being self-sufficient.
Broomes also urged the other women living in the compound to look for avenues to make themselves self-sufficient and not sit and wait on handouts from government or organisations.
The minister committed to engaging the ministry of house to ensure that the issue of trees are addressed less the consequences become dire should there be a reoccurrence especially given the rainy season.