Published: Jun 06, 2013
Water, water everywhere and none to drink, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.
In the last week the capital has been pummeled by heavy down pours which caused severe flooding in low-lying areas and potentially millions of dollars in damage.
This is not new for those persons living in Pinewood Gardens because it is an area plagued with flooding issues. However there were a number of residents in the eastern section of the island who also were challenged with cleaning up buckets and buckets of water from their homes. For now, I will zero in on Pinewood Gardens, where the drainage problems need to be rectified once and for all.
Some persons not only had water up to their knees in their home, but they also lost furniture and are left asking the question, what will be done? Is it right that every time it rains heavily or a hurricane passes over the island these residents seem more exposed to the threat of flooding?
As a child, I can recall the sheer misery of living in our rental home which leaked and the yard flooded when it rained heavily. Most times it meant continuously mopping up buckets and buckets of water and doing our best to stay dry in an already challenged situation. Home owners in Pinewood Gardens will now have to dole out thousands of dollars for new furniture and appliances. In my view that’s not right – and I don’t think the residents should be the ones footing the bill.
Government needs to come down hard on developers, who continue to create these subdivisions without proper planning and drainage, and Ministry of Works needs to ensure that they don’t allow shabby work by slide past them, which in the long term will be directly felt by the home owner.
Is the issue one where drains are not cleared frequently? No matter what it is, homeowners it’s time to hold your member of Parliament’s feet to the fire and get some relief.
If, the problem can’t be fixed or then have the people relocated to higher ground, someone has to be made to pay and I am not talking about us, the taxpayer.
These homeowners have invested their life savings into these homes and most have of them have nowhere else to go; selling is not an option, who is going to purchase a home in this flood zone?
The time is now that this problem is fixed, and these homeowners given relief not temporarily, but permanently. With the hurricane season now upon us, we all know that spells out more rain.
Prospective home owners, learn from these instances, that highlight the need for due diligence on your behalf and that of your chosen real estate agent. Examine the area you plan to purchase a home in, see how it fares after heavy rains. It may be wise to ensure that the home has some type of elevation and is built above road level, so if there is flooding you have a better chance of staying dry, especially if the drainage wells are cleared regularly. Let your real estate agent work for you!
• William Wong is the president of Wong and Associates Realty. He was also a two-term president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and the Bahamas Real Estate Association. Questions or comments can be emailed to William@wongsrealty.com.