Gareth Davis, Gleaner Writer
PORT ANTONIO, Portland:
PICKING UP the pieces will be a daunting task for 48-year-old James Edwards, a farmer and resident of Bybrooke in Portland, whose two-bedroom concrete house was destroyed during heavy rainfall Sunday night.
Edwards, who lost several items of furniture and electrical appliances, is also left without food and clothing. The mud-stained black T-shirt on his back and khaki pants tell the painful story of a man, who once had an abundance of clothing, but is now left bare as a result of the heavy showers, which pelted the island Sunday night.
"I just don't know my next move. I have nothing to eat, no change of clothing, and I have lost my house and furniture. I am wondering seriously what else can go wrong. It is like my whole world has crashed, and I am buried beneath the rubble with no hope of reaching the surface. Yet still, I am thankful to be alive. I am hoping that someone somewhere will provide me with some form of assistance, so that I will be able to at least pick up the pieces and move on."
According to the farmer, his loss is mounting, as news came on Tuesday that a house, which he was building some distance away in the same community, was also damaged by floodwaters from a nearby river, sweeping it away along its path.
The farmer's belongings were buried beneath the rubble when the walls of the house collapsed and the roof caved in, after huge boulders and other materials slammed into the structure shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday as the Bybrooke river overflowed its banks.
Edwards also reportedly lost three goats, four pigs, along with acres of farm produce, including bananas, plantains, pepper, dasheen, and yams. He was, however, provided with some assurance by a team from the Portland Red Cross, which visited the area on Tuesday, and pledged to assist him, despite their limited resources.
Meanwhile, Daryl Vaz, member of parliament for West Portland, has committed to providing assistance to the flood victim, and has already made arrangements for food and clothing to be provided to him.