‘She can now sleep good’
Adult sons grateful house provided for 82-year-old mom
CHAMBERS PEN, Hanover — The sons of 82-year-old Kathrine Miller are thrilled that their mother has received a furnished, two-bedroom, concrete house worth $10 million from the Government, something they could not have done themselves. Miller has for years lived in a board house that was badly in need of repairs.
Her younger son, Nigel Samuels, said they had to use tarpaulin to cover the roof of the old house in order to shelter their mother from the elements.
“Mi feel good in myself and happy for what was done. Give thanks and praise; she can now sleep good and doesn’t have to run up and down because she now has everything in comfort,” he said.
His brother Uron Brackett had similar views.
“I feel proud of her. I just went and lay down in the two beds and took some pictures and things,” the 62-year-old told the Jamaica Observer.
According to Brackett, the family did not have much financially when he was a child and as such, he started working at a young age and was unable to attend school regularly.
“When I was 13 I started working in the canefield so that I could give my old lady money so that she can buy some food,” he said.
The house that Miller received, equipped with a solar electricity system and solar water heater, was one of two handed over by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie in the community of Chambers Pen last Friday. The other is a $6-million studio unit delivered to Carlton Kent. The first house was delivered in the area in 2023, and two others are under construction.
McKenzie stressed that the Poor Relief Department of Hanover Municipal Corporation retains the right to monitor and ensure that the structures remain intact.
“We are not just building these houses and just leaving them like that; we are [also] allowing the people to feel a sense of pride in owning these houses,” he assured.
McKenzie promised the gathering that he would continue to work with them to improve conditions in the Chambers Pen area.
For his part, Holness said he was happy to see the development taking place in the community under the Government’s Rural Development Programme (RDP).
“The Government has spent over $340 million on repairing the road and I see work is still ongoing, including some supporting infrastructure, repairs to bridges, and putting in water mains. I see that some rural electrification is taking place. I haven’t visited the school as yet but I hear Minister McKenzie has said that this school has been repaired, and now we are here to hand over two houses to indigent members of the community,” the prime minister said.
Councillor for the Riverside Division (PNP) Daren Barnes paid homage to his political opponents for the improvements made in his division.
“It is a pleasure of mine to thank the hard-working minister, Desmond McKenzie, and I think it could not happen without the prime minister. So, I want to thank you, because the first time that we sat down with Tamika [Davis, Hanover Western Member of Parliament] and Tova [Trench Anderson, Social Development Commission parish manager, we] worked out the logistics about Chambers Pen and the area. I am happy to know that this is in my division. I am really proud of it,” he said.
Chambers Pen is the pilot for the RDP, which is spearheaded by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development in five parishes. The second project is currently being carried out in Cheswick, St Thomas.
The RDP was introduced in 2021, and the Chambers Pen leg of the programme was officially launched in June 2022.