Sat | Dec 16, 2017

Family house nearing collapse, NWA blamed

Published:Wednesday | August 16, 2017 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis Sr
The landslide at the Humes' Bryans Bay, Portland house
Delroy Humes and Sonia Karr-Humes looking at the nearby roadway at their home in Bryans Bay, Portland.
A flight of steps leading to the Humeses Bryans Bay, Portland, house, which is also breaking apart.
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Bryans Bay, Portland:

A Portland family whose house is nearing collapse is blaming the National Works Agency (NWA) for its part in refusing to construct a retaining wall, which could halt the continuous landslide.

For more than a decade, husband and wife Delroy Humes and Sonia Karr-Humes have endured sleepless nights, especially when it rains, as their five-bedroom concrete house, which lies on a hill at Bryans Bay, is precariously perched on an edge overlooking the Portland leg of the North Coast Highway.

"We are returning residents, who have worked tirelessly to construct our own home," commented Karr-Humes.

IGNORED

"We started construction in 2001 and when contractors assigned to undertake the road construction started digging and clearing away dirt, we spoke to them about building a retaining wall, as we were fearful that when the rains started, it might result in some earth movement. We were ignored, and today, the house is being undermined and the property is eroding at a rapid pace. This is our investment in building a home for my family."

With the persistent heavy rainfall now affecting the eastern parish, the family, which also comprises the couple's four children are living in fear. This was quite evident when The Gleaner visited the area yesterday and observed the husband and wife looking down at the roadway, while pondering their next move.

NOPOSITIVERESPONSE

"Despite various letters, visits, and phone calls to the NWA office, nothing has been done. The absence of a retaining wall poses a serious risk of us losing our home and possibly causing serious injuries to my family. Following heavy rains earlier this year, a team from the NWA visited; however, there is no positive response from the agency as to when the retaining wall will be constructed," said the husband.

Meanwhile, a senior source at the NWA office in Port Antonio, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the agency is aware of the situation facing the family and that an estimate has been done, as it relates to the construction of a retaining wall. However, the source was unable to provide our news team with a timeline as to when the actual work would begin.