An elderly Princes Town man is now homeless after a landslide destroyed his property. And if losing his home was not enough, Lalchan Ramsawak was further reduced to nothing when thieves seized the opportunity to steal his belongings.
Earlier this month, 78-year-old Ramsawak noticed a disturbance at his home of over six decades but felt that reporting it would have been a waste of his time.
“I start seeing it in the rubble drain coming down a good little while, but I did not inform WASA or nobody, because I know sometimes when you tell WASA something, they just take it on deaf ears.”
At his Borde Narve village home, water from a leaking line had been undermining the roadway and his property, causing the land to shift drastically.
Recent heavy rainfall added to Ramsawak’s woes and he was eventually forced to flee.
“The land start breaking and when I get up a morning, I saw this step coming to the road here just raise and gone through and the porch done move about five inches so I just try to get myself out. When I get up in the night rain was falling, I see the whole roof move so in the morning I just got myself out.”
Unfortunately, for the stroke survivor, it was out of a broken home and into a broken life he had never imagined.
“I on the streets right now and some people giving me place to sleep and when people giving you place to sleep, that is not yours…you come like a vagrant on the road.
“I often sleep in the car…my sheet in the car. I does cover-up and try my best to make myself comfortable. When I think about my place, I can’t even eat, I does cry.”
The wrath of the water damage, however, was just a drop in the bucket when compared to what the elderly man faced next.
“They thief it out. They were ripping out the galvanize from the house and going with everything. My wife who passed away had a bracelet…when they thieving the wardrobe, they take that too. To buy that, I had to go in the wharf in San Fernando and sleep in the night, hungry belly and go in the sea to save dollar by penny.”
Ramsawak is now pleading with the authorities to assist in restoring a roof over his head. He said what he has been enduring for the past several weeks was enough to break many people, an experience he said he would not even wish on his worst enemy.
A senior Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) official yesterday said the matter will be investigated.
Meanwhile, MP Rodney Charles is calling on the Works Minister Rohan Sinanan to conduct road restoration and other necessary works in the area to reduce the risk of residents losing their homes.
Earlier this year, residents of Mandingo Road in Princes Town pleaded for the immediate intervention of the authorities, after roads in the area caved in and resulted in homes collapsing.