Elderly couple tired of being flood out

September 14, 2020
Neville and Norma Burnett
Neville and Norma Burnett
The Burnetts home is far from ideal.
The Burnetts home is far from ideal.
Norma Burnett sometimes has to use her bare hands to dig away mud that settles in her home.
Norma Burnett sometimes has to use her bare hands to dig away mud that settles in her home.

Neville Burnett, 73, and his wife Norma, 72, are no strangers to struggles.

The couple, who reside in a boardroom shack in New Haven, Kingston 20, told THE STAR that they are in dire need of assistance as their community is flood prone.

In the 27 years they have lived there, this is at least the eighth time they have been flooded out. It was so bad on one occasion that they had to stay in a shelter.

"Me flood right through. We things them wet up and all some of our clothes and shoes wash weh," said Norma. "When rain fall the roof leak because all of the zinc them rotten, so we have to set buckets. Right now me little chest of drawers soon nuh have no use to me because the water nuh stop from soak it." She showed the THE STAR her mud-covered hands, an indication of her issues.

"A clean me a clean out some mud that leave back from the water and it hard on me to because me nuh so young and me have to bend my back," she said.

Neville, who was also seen making attempts to do some reconstruction on the house, told THE STAR that he just wants to make his wife safe.

"A up the road me just go buy a bucket of sand for $100. Me a fix a hole at the side so that the water nuh come in," he said. "I have to try to make me wife alright because the water mash we up." The Burnetts have been married for more than 28 years, and they are both battling with illnesses and haven't been able to make ends meet.

"Me can't even see so well because me have glaucoma in my eye and it a get really bad now. Me all have high blood pressure and diabetes and me husband sickly too. Him have seizure, so none a we can't work to help each other," Norma said. They fared a little bit better before COVID-19 came to Jamaica.

Everything mash up

"We use to raise chicken, but since COVID, nothing at all. Everything mash up and we have to just stay suh," Neville said.

The couple's only source of help comes from a child who lives in St Thomas but he is not so well-off to provide assistance in abundance.

They are dreading another flood which might see more of their assets being destroyed.

"When the water come in, me just have to stay on the bed and me husband a say 'don't come down' because him nuh want me go drop or so," said Norma. "If we want something at shop, nobody to send. This morning (yesterday) a through the mud we a go shop and me pray and ask God to lead we."

The Burnetts expressed that any help would be much appreciated.

"We wouldn't mind if somebody could help we with some block to put the house pon and some zinc anything at all we happy," said Neville. "A long time we a go through it and nobody don't come and help us."

Those who wish to assist the Burnetts may contact Norma at (876)364-0104.

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