Range houses collapse in Tucville; residents fed-up with promises made by Gov’t

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Two range houses located at the Tucville housing compound, Georgetown collapsed on Thursday afternoon leaving over 15 persons homeless.

The incident occurred at about 17:30hrs.

One resident, Ifalesha Dickson said she was at home with her reputed husband, sister and one of her three children when the incident occurred.

“I was on my step, I feel this whole range shake and I shout to my child father…by that time a plank cracked and suddenly he in the gutter, the building down, the zincs started falling and nearly cut away [my son] foot, my sister went on the bed and the zinc barely miss she,” the woman recounted.

Ifalesha Dickson

As a result, Dickson had to sleep in the yard with her children on Thursday night.

Another resident, Rhonda Nedd who is a vendor at the Stabroek Market, recalled that she received a telephone call from a neighbour who told her of the tragedy.

The woman said she slept at the home of a relative on Thursday night and would have to continue doing so until she can afford to fix the house.

Rhonda Nedd

There are approximately 25 families living in the compound in small wooden and dilapidated range houses.

They were moved to the compound from the Tiger Bay community over 23 years ago by the former Government. The move was expected to be temporary but the residents did not receive further help since.

“In Tiger Bay, our building was falling, [former President Bharrat] Jagdeo was in power at that time, so he decided to bring we here.

“We had a self-help something. They give we some materials while we buy something. They said they were going to put us here for three months, temporary, not permanently,” Natasha Alexander told the News Room.

Natasha Alexander

Over the years, the residents were promised by successive Governments access to reliable housing.

This year, they are using their votes as a bargain to get proper and affordable housing.

“We income small, we does try we best to maintain this compound…everybody just promising promising we,” Luckrisha Hackett, another resident said.

Inside of one of the houses which collapsed on Thursday.

Rhonda Nedd added that “every time election comes, these people does come around and give you bare promises. I cannot sleep in this place, if they can donate some materials, that will be good…I don’t care if is PPP/C, APNU or who, is bare promises.”

Inside of one of the houses which collapsed on Thursday.

The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) had previously promised to relocate the residents and provide better housing facilities.

Chief Executive Officer of the CH&PA, Lelon Saul said the agency has had to deal with conflicting priorities and would need upto 18 months to relocate the residents.

The News Room learnt that some residents were offered lands in the Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD) area and have since moved but others are still awaiting their turn.

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