Residents of Accabre Drive, Kara Kara, Linden are calling for the rehabilitation of their road which they say has been neglected for more than 15 years despite regular promises.
Accabre Drive is one of the oldest areas in Kara Kara with approximately 25 houses facing a single lane. In its history the street was never paved and is in a deplorable condition today. Residents say they have been lobbying the local and national authorities but their pleas keep falling on deaf ears. According to Zola Layne, who has been living in the area for more than 12 years, approximately three to four weeks ago she was in contact with Regional Chairman Mortimer Mingo as regards the rehabilitation of the road. Another resident said she had dialogue with Mingo since January this year but to date nothing has been done.
Contacted, Mingo said residents had approached him voicing their concerns about the state of the road. He said he had informed them that Accabre Drive was slated to be rehabilitated under the President’s project. Mingo said he had informed the persons, based on information from the Ministry of Works, that the road would have been done. He said he has since learnt from the engineer in the Works Ministry that a check would be made to confirm whether the work had started and if not, the firm that was contracted since January 2011 would be penalized in line with the contract agreement. There was no indication of how soon this would be done or if and when a new contractor would be taken on to do the work.
Layne referred to incidents where cars suffered damage to their undercarriage. There were occasions when persons fell because of the condition of the road and it is worse when it rains. Traversing the road at night is also challenging because of the risk of being bitten by reptiles or insects. Persons said they would usually wade through the water-filled potholes and would have to compete with vehicles for the best spots.
Another resident who opted not to be named said that she has been living in the area well over 25 years and has never seen any work done. She said the road is usually treated as a track or passageway. Both she and Layne said that contractors rehabilitating nearby streets would stockpile their materials in Accabre Drive, without even taking the initiative of grading the road. “When the new hospital was being built, the sand trucks used Accabre Drive to transport sand and stones and other material to the site,” a resident said.
The hardship is also felt by residents who are owners of vehicles. They said that their maintenance cost is very high and money is wasted on washing their vehicles. “I have a handicap sister and I can’t even take her out to get some fresh air in her wheelchair as the conditions make it challenging for you to manoeuvre the chair,” a resident complained.
Residents have tried to maintain the road through self help but underscore the need for urgent professional intervention. Lawrence Simon who has been a resident of the area for more than 40 years said that during the most recent cabinet outreach Minister Jennifer Westford and other officials had walked the length of the street with residents and indicated that the road would have been included in the president’s multi-million-dollar infrastructural programme.