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Residents of Harper Trace, Moruga, protest over the conditions of the roads in the area.

Land slippage is wreaking havoc in the lives of over 100 residents living in a rural community in St Mary’s Village, Moruga.

Due to a massive landslip at Harper Trace, off Weston Trace, a poultry farm was forced to shut down four months ago, at least three houses are under threat while taxis, delivery trucks and emergency vehicles no longer serve the area.

The residents are blaming the erosion on leaking Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) lines.

Chicken farmers Franklyn Mohammed and his wife, Joanne, explained that their business has been operating for over 20 years, but four months ago they closed down because they stopped getting supplies because the trucks cannot pass owing to the landslip.

They usually rear 20,000 chickens on their farm at the back of their home and provide jobs for fellow residents.

Franklyn Mohammed said, “The truck cannot pass because the road bad. I couldn’t get no feed and I couldn’t get no chicks because the road bad.”

Complaining that the farm is their only form of income, he said they now have to live off of their savings.

While WASA has been fixing the leaks over the past two years, Joanne said the lines continue to burst.

Complaining that there is another landslip in front of her home, she said the land movement is damaging her property and her son’s home.

She added, “Besides the farm we have elderly. We can’t have any emergency (vehicles) come in the trace, example fire trucks or even ambulance, delivery trucks, groceries, school kids, workers.”

She says in 2022 they are forced to operate like “old ages, when people had to tote their luggage on their head or back.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, villagers had to patch the landslip with pieces of material from an abandoned house so a car could pass to pick up villager Simeon Mitchell who has two broken ankles and uses a wheelchair.

Mitchell’s brother Andrell was upset that the government had no money to fix their road but could spend $30,000 to build “goat pens” for Carnival. He said if the material is provided they will fix the road themselves. Meanwhile, another resident, Yvette Fraser-Harrylal is worried that if the land erosion is not stopped her house may not be standing in a year from now.

Explaining the damage done to her property within the last nine months, she said, “The yard was split in half for at least 100 feet. The gate can’t close because one of the post fell, and the road is pulling and apparently, it is pulling the house because of the constant flow of water and the trees to the end of the 100 feet all of them turn to the road like they want to fall.”

Meanwhile, parlour owner Sally Rackbir says keeping her business open has been challenging because she now has to walk about a quarter-mile to meet the delivery trucks.

“When I have to come out to get the van because the van does stop here (just before the landslip) and I have to tote in my goods and is real hard for me. I have to leave my parlour, I have to close up to come here to get the van. I have to sit down and wait sometimes sun hot, rain falling,” she lamented.

Meanwhile, Joyclyn McIntosh, 60, has had to put a hold on her home renovations.

She said, “Through of the cave I cannot build because I am frightened that in case I build something else it (erosion) come across (her property).”

McIntosh, who has already bought her material, is hoping the problem is addressed soon. When contacted, WASA stated the constant land movement is causing their lines to burst.

“The Authority continues to experience challenges related to land movement along various parts of Weston Trace, which has resulted in several leaks at different points in time,” said Corporate Communications Manager Daniel Plenty.

He explained that three leaks along Weston Trace were recently repaired on February 2 and 4, and a minor outstanding leak between LP 75-76 Harper Trace off Weston Trace will be repaired today.

Meanwhile, Moruga/Tableland MP Michelle Benjamin said she wrote to Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein in November about the challenges facing the residents but no works have been undertaken.