A brighter day for Portland couple
Grants Gate, Portland:
A common-law couple, ravaged by a massive landslide that demolished their house at Grants Gate in Hope Bay, Portland recently will be getting much-needed assistance from their member of Parliament (MP) Daryl Vaz.
The couple, Lloyd Mitchell and Millicent Graham, who are both 77 years old narrowly escaped death when a huge boulder accompanied by a massive earth movement, slammed into a two-bedroom board house occupied by them shortly after 3 a.m. on May 16.
But while the couple was contemplating their next move and how best to begin the recovery process, Vaz visited the area and provided them with financial assistance, emergency supplies, and items of clothing, while making a commitment to provide them with the necessary assistance in restoring their lives along with their livelihood of farming.
"They are farmers, and their income and livelihood is severely crippled, "said Vaz.
"They are unable to earn money from the selling of their produce, as their farm land was destroyed during the landslide. The first step is to apply to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation to secure a housing grant, so as to effect repairs to an existing structure owned by Mitchell. They are farmers and therefore we will be providing them with fertilizers, chemicals, seedlings, and farming tools. I have already spoken to Hi-Pro feeds to assist," said Vaz.
Additionally, Vaz, who is also minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for economic growth, job creation, and the environment, said that he has personally spoken with Courts Jamaica Limited to assist with providing to the couple, furniture and appliances, which were lost during the landslide.
Vaz continued: "As early as next week, I expect that everything including all outstanding issues will be in place, as I will be fast tracking whatever assistance is needed. This situation will be treated as a priority, and the woman will be provided with a house in short order, which will be placed on a piece of land in the same community of Grants Gate, which is already identified."
Mitchell said he was thankful for the help received so far.
Since the disaster, the couple has been staying at a house owned by Mitchell, which is in dire need of repair and leaks heavily whenever it rains.