'Please meet with us, Mr Wong'
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Below is a letter written yesterday to the Mr Patrick Wong, chief executive officer of the National Works Agency (NWA), by the citizens of Grovedale Drive, St Andrew.
Dear Mr Wong,
We the citizens of Grovedale Drive had invited you and/or technical or managerial repre-sentatives of the NWA to meet with us last week to explain and discuss the emergency works being undertaken on the gully which runs behind the community and related issues.
You indicated via telephone conversation that you and these representatives were very busy, given the damage caused by Tropical Storm Nicole, and, therefore, were unable to meet with us. We received a telephone call from a technical staff member who provided a resident with some basic information on the current repairs.
Since then, we have noted with great interest that you and technical representatives of the NWA were able to meet with Observer journalists at that newspaper's Monday Exchange and conduct extensive discussions on issues which ranged from the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme to the National Water Commission, the Rio Cobre river training and closure of the Bog Walk gorge.
Mr Wong, we have been ignored once by your agency and this has led to the erosion of the gully surface behind our homes, the collapse of the backyards of three houses on the road and the threat of collapse to the others. Despite our pleas to you, you indicated that no funds were available to repair two erosions on the gully surface.
Now, when our predictions have materialised, money has had to be found by the NWA to build gabion baskets for three lots and undertake repairs to the retaining wall and gully surface. We are thankful for this response but it has come late and at a great financial and mental cost to us residents, and clearly at a greater cost to the NWA than it would have been if we had been given a prompt response.
We, therefore, take this opportunity to graciously and publicly extend the invitation to meet with us again, as it seems you are now able to find some time in your busy schedule for communication activities. We wish to be informed of the immediate, medium- and long-term plans for repair and maintenance of the gully behind our community and related issues in a face-to-face meeting.
We look forward to your response.
On behalf of the citizens of Grovedale Drive