Living on the edge is no exaggeration for three Princes Town families whose homes sit precariously at the edge of a gaping landslip.
Although the landslip along Mandingo Road developed in August 2020, persistent rains last week exacerbated its condition, causing surrounding homes and trees to slip further on Sunday.
The landslip has already claimed one family’s home, and parts of Shamina Mohamed’s house are already crumbling down a steep hill.
When Guardian Media visited yesterday, the foundation under her house was exposed and crooked. Parts of her wall and drains that she built are already gone, and up to yesterday, nothing was done to stabilise the earth movement.
Mohamed said in 2009, the Telecommunication Service (TSTT) installed a duct under the road, which was attached to a manhole.
She said water began flowing into the duct and seeping onto neighbouring properties over time.
At first, they thought it was a leak from a Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) pipeline. After WASA checked, a supervisor suggested that they contact TSTT.
Mohamed said that at the end of August last year, was when her neighbour’s home slipped and crumbled. By that time, the Ali family that lived there had already moved away. Water then began flowing into her storeroom and basement.
“I did work last March because of all the water I was seeing. I did a rubble drain, repaved the side and build a box drain to take the water down to the back where there is a bigger drain. All that is gone, the whole thing slid away, and the skirting on the house is gone,” Mohammed said.
Residents said the road eventually slipped, and three days before Christmas, a team from the Ministry of Works and Transport closed the road, blocking it with old barrels, bamboo stalks and caution tape.
Before yesterday, it was the only thing signalling the danger ahead. They said that recently, a family was driving along the road and almost plunged into the collapsed section.
Shaffena Mohamed said her garage was becoming separated from the rest of the house, exposing the beams. The house has already slipped a few metres away from the road. Mohamed’s husband died years ago, leaving her to fend for herself. Each time it rains, she is worried.
She said her family did not want to relocate, but they were in need to help.