Sat | Dec 14, 2019

Broadleaf repairs flood damage on their own

Published:Wednesday | October 13, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Peter McLean shovels the gravel while Lorraine Campbell (left) and Nadine Reid wait on a load to carry for mixing, as they try to repair the main road in Broadleaf, Manchester. - Photos by Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Phillip Raffington mixes the marl, cement and sand used in repairing a section of the roadway.
Radcliffe Campbell putting the finishing touches to the road surface.
A section of the damaged roadway.

Philip Hamilton, Gleaner Writer

ON THE narrow roadway leading uphill into Broadleaf district in Manchester, not far from Porus, five persons are seen feverishly repairing a huge crater located in front of the driveway leading to their house.

A wiry, bearded man dressed in a blue vest and short brown pants wielding a pickaxe that he uses to dig the driveway looks up at the sky, racing to beat the afternoon rains for which south Manchester is renowned.

The man, Radcliffe Campbell, tells how the torrential rains of two weeks ago gouged out the section of the road in front of his house that lies on a bend. The problem, he says, stems from a mined-out bauxite pit awaiting rehabilitation, last used three years ago by the Jamaica Aluminium Company (Jamalco) that causes flooding whenever it rains.

"This water comes from bauxite mining that damages the road like that," says Campbell, referring to the mined-out bauxite pit just metres up the road. He shows the spot where the flood waters came from the mined-out pit, almost entering his bedroom window. A mark can be seen just two feet below the window showing where the water rose. On two prior occasions, the rushing water almost came through his bedroom window.

Campbell introduces the Gleaner team to his sisters, Lorraine Campbell and Nadine Reid, as well as his brother-in-law, Phillip Raffington, and nephew, Peter McLean.

Parked vehicle a danger

Campbell points to his blue 1991 Nissan motor car that he operates as a taxi, and which has remained parked outside the family home since the rains of September 29 left the crater outside his gate.

"A vehicle coming down the road can meet an accident with it parked right there and somebody can take it from you when you're sleeping. That's why we're trying to fix the driveway," he explains.

Campbell says Jamalco provided the cement to repair the roadway. Jamalco officials subsequently told The Gleaner they have a policy to assist persons, should its operations cause any interference in communities, as a means of ameliorating the situation.

Raffington, a man of few words, mixes the mortar.

Across the road, an elderly woman, who identified herself as Islyn Wallace, complains of experiencing flooding on her property, caused from the mined-out pit, during the past four years.

"All these things were washed out and we had to plant afresh," she said, pointing to some banana and orange trees, as well as some flowers on her land.