Some of the families which were displaced by the Pike Street, Kitty fire that razed four homes more than two weeks ago are still seeking public assistance to rebuild their homes and their lives.
On March 7th, around 3am, a fire erupted at 185 Pike Street, Kitty, and eventually spread to three other homes.
As a result, the four homes were burnt to the ground and more than 20 persons from seven different families lost their homes.
While most of them have received some assistance from public-spirited citizens and non-governmental organisations, the families need more help to rebuild their homes.
Jeannette Brown, 69, told Sunday Stabroek that she and her brothers, Clive and Dennis, have been forced to put up a temporary shack. She said while they are “making do,” they are still seeking the public’s assistance to help them acquire building materials so that they can rebuild their home.
“We built a little shed and we are digging up the earth to get some concrete that is way down to the foundation and we asked GPL [Guyana Power and Light Inc] to come and give us some light so that we can get the jackhammer to use,” Brown said, while stating that they have received assistance from several persons and organisations. She noted that while they have received clothes and household items, they are in need of help to acquire building materials so that they are able to put a proper roof over their heads.
“You have to make the best of what you get and you can’t complain. We got clothes from Food for the Poor and food stuff and stove and stuff like that we get but in terms of building materials and so, we haven’t. What we need now [are] building materials and that is what we haven’t gotten and that’s what we need. We don’t have a choice but to make do with what we have right now but all we are asking for is some help so we can rebuild,” Brown said.
Onicka Jonas, who is currently staying with the aunt of her two children, said she is open to help from anyone who can assist her in finding an apartment to rent and obtaining clothes.
“I can’t really complain much. It’s just a place to stay but we are coming around in terms of clothing and what’s not. There are people donating some stuff to us, like Gizmos and Gadgets and some other persons. Right now, I am just trying to get my documents back but some of them are so costly,” Jonas noted.
For Savitree Manbodh, her husband and their 24-year-old daughter, the situation is starkly different as they have been forced to occupy a storage shed at a relative’s home in Kitty.
“It’s very hard for us. We are staying downstairs in a storage room and it’s just a bed I have in here. I am not even cooking ’cause we don’t have any space and is just when they [family] cook is when we does eat. It real hard ’cause you can’t cook your own thing, you know,” Manbodh said, while adding that neither her husband nor her daughter is currently employed, which makes the situation more difficult.
The woman explained that she has a plot of land at Eccles, East Bank Demerara and is appealing to the public for assistance with building materials so that she would be able to construct something more comfortable for her and her family to stay.
“We are getting a few assistance and we got some food stuff from Grace Kennedy and other people but I have to find another place to rent or somewhere to build. I need like financial assistance to build my own home. I just do the foundation, so I just need to put up something on it and that’s all I’m asking for,” Manbodh said.
Still residing at her partially burnt home in Pike Street, Angela Dominick and her three children are also pleading for assistance with building materials. The woman has had to cover the eastern side of her house, which was badly damaged by the fire, with a large tarpaulin, and the family has been occupying the lower flat of the house.