Still suffering after Tomas


TROPICAL STORM TOMAS swept through Barbados more than a year ago, but victims are still reeling from the effects.
Dudley Mayers lost his two-bedroom house at Well Gap, Cave Hill, St Michael, in the high winds and has been in temporary quarters ever since the dramatic rescue of about 16 storm-affected people by firemen who had to form a human chain to get them out.
The group’s first post-Tomas shelter was the Ellerslie Secondary School, then after four and a half months, it was split up and Mayers ended up spending about three months at the Casa Grande Airport Hotel at Oldbury, St Philip. The accommodation cost was said to have become too much for the Government agencies and he was relocated to a three-bedroom house in St Michael.
Physically, things are much more comfortable for Mayers, but he is unsettled. The ailing security guard/seaman struggles to pay the $800-per-month rent because he works only when he is physically able to do so. He also receives the occasional cheque from the National Insurance Scheme.
Since Tomas struck he assumed responsibility for his 14-year-old daughter Rachel Sealy, with whom he recently became acquainted, and his 16-year-old stepdaughter Rochelle.
He also has four small children who live overseas.
Mayers and the mother of the teenaged girls, Therese Herbert, are no longer together, but he said he still tries to help her out.
Herbert suffered a major loss as a result of Tomas as well and is seeking decent accommodation for herself and her other small children.
While Mayers said he and the girls get assistance from the Welfare Department and the food bank, he still struggles to send the girls to school, take care of their needs and make ends meet.
As a way to help themselves, members of the family, through the charity Shawn Helping Hand Association Youth Service, are holding a sponsored walk on December 20 from Bridgetown to Oistins.
The walk was launched last Thursday and Mayers is looking to raise at least $10 000 to build a small house.
“I can’t sit back and wait for something to be done . . . . I’m just looking out for the children and their mother. I want to make them comfortable by Christmas,” Mayers said.
Contributions outside of the sponsored walk will be accepted. (YB)


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