• No financial support was offered to them
  • “We are victims too,” says family

Torrential rains that hit the country on April 21 caused the collapse of a house in Tranquebar and damaged several others. Among these victims is the Andoo family. But unlike her neighbors, she was ordered to leave her home without any financial support from the authorities.

They were ordered to leave their house. Immediately. Without further ado. The Andoo’s dismay is palpable. The astonishment is mixed with a feeling of injustice. Because if this family, neighbors of the Ramsahye whose house collapsed during the floods of April 21, has been living in Tranquebar for around forty years, and built their house there through many sacrifices, they owe everything leave… under penalty of paying a fine, or even going to prison… And without any form of compensation.

“Our house was impacted by the floods of April 21. The eviction order from Port-Louis town hall, which was issued at the beginning of May, clearly mentions that my house is a dangerous area, and stipulates that I must empty the premises at the risk of paying a fine of Rs 200,000 or risk four years in prison in case of resistance,” protests Wendy Andoo, 47 years old.

His incomprehension is profound. Because the floods of April 21 were in no way his fault. Nor the damage caused to his home, whose foundations were weakened by the surging waters during the torrential rains which fell on the island that day. According to the authorities, although his house is still standing, the risk of collapse is too high to allow the family to remain there.

Wendy Andoo says she doesn't know where to go and who to turn to. Especially since her parents, with whom she lives, are elderly and do not enjoy good health. His mother is 71 years old and has a brain tumor. His father suffers from an eye problem as well as other health complications, including diabetes. He is 76 years old. “My parents are very affected by this situation. They are sick. Imagine what impact this situation has on their health…” she said. “If we have to leave, where will we go? This is where we have lived for years…” she asked last April, after the floods, already aware that staying in the family home was perhaps no longer an option.

The forty-year-old, however, did not expect such a brutal expulsion. She explains that it was thanks to the efforts of her sisters and her that this permanent house could be built. “We worked for many years in Ireland. It was thanks to our savings that we were able to start building the house. Nou'nn aranz lakaz-la ek nou'nn met nou bann paran ladan akoz zot pe viv zot vie zour. All our savings were injected into this house. Aster zordi ou pe dir mwa al travay ankor sink an pou aranz enn lakaz parey? » laments Wendy Andoo.

To their great amazement, the eviction order was issued without any promise of compensation or rehousing. Distraught, the Andoo family sought help from local authorities, but their calls went unanswered. The Andoos today find themselves in an impasse. “Nou'nn al tap enn ta laport. Bann dimounn-la inn dir mwa ki mo na pa po gainn okenn support pou gain lakaz ek mo bizin rode par momem,” says Wendy Andoo.

She doesn't understand why her family's case differs from that of her three neighbors on Swami Vivekananda Street: the Ramsahye, the Dindoyal and the Kanhye. These families obtained temporary housing, paid for by the State, for a year. They also obtained financial support from the government, varying between Rs 100,000 and Rs 500,000, aimed at temporarily relieving them in terms of essential products. The authorities also intend to assess the damage suffered by these families.

“I understand the pain of my three neighbors who were rehoused and compensated. But I find myself in the same situation as them. Three families, including the one living in the collapsed house, received compensation, except the Andoo family,” says Wendy Andoo.

What is she asking for? “We are demanding the same treatment as my three other neighbors, namely rehousing and financial compensation. We have not received anything in terms of financial envelope and we are asked to empty the premises as quickly as possible. But it's unfair! »

Wendy Andoo adds that she has “started all the necessary procedures with the authorities”. “The day after the floods, Monday April 22, I went to the Pope Hennessy police station to make a statement. I went to the Citizens Advice Bureau in the region, as well as to the town hall of Port-Louis, on Wednesday April 23. Everything was done according to the rules,” she explains.

She says she fears that her house will collapse once the three other damaged houses are razed by the authorities. “Cracks are visible on certain partitions and even on the floor of my house since the tragedy of Sunday April 21. » The family, she continues, is prepared to empty the premises: “But we should be given the same treatment as our neighbors. »

The Andoo family lives in anxiety about the future. “We just hope that our situation will get the attention it needs and that steps will be taken to help us rebuild our lives,” says Wendy Andoo. “We want to listen to our doleans when Finn arrives on April 21st in a drama. Nou enn bann viktim ladan nou. Kit landrwa kot nou rest li pa fasil. Sirtou si ou pou bizin al tir dan ou pos pou al lwe enn lot lakaz. »

Bobby Hurreeram: “We can take no responsibility”

At the Ministry of Local Government level, it is claimed that the house contains visible cracks, whether inside or out. These cracks, it is specified, are linked to the collapsed house. “The house represents a danger for the family. This is why the family will have to evacuate the premises, but the government will help them. What happened on April 21 was a tragedy and no one was at fault. The government will, however, have to contact the 'contractor' of the collapsed wall in order to demand explanations,” we understand.
According to Bobby Hurreeram, who spoke during the Explik ou Ka show on Friday, “nou pou pran nou responsabilite”, like “nou'nn pran nou responsablite pou reloz bann viktim ki finn gagn bann domaz direk”. He said he was willing to meet the Andoo family, while affirming that they will have “all the support they want”.

Osman Mahomed: “I deplore the government’s attitude”

Speaking on this case during the Explik ou Ka program on Friday May 31, MP Osman Mahomed criticized “the government's attitude”. According to him, the National Development Unit is “flatly at fault”. For him, there is no doubt that the damage caused to the houses of the Ramsahye, Kanhye and Dindoyal families along Ruisseau du Pouce is due to the work undertaken by the NDU and in particular the removal of the retaining wall.

“All construction professionals have warned not to remove this wall. GIBB advised against doing so. I myself warned that this wall should not be removed. The 'contractor' expressed reservations. And yet, the NDU persisted,” laments MP Mahomed.

According to him, other victims, in addition to the Andoo family, contacted him. “I deplore the government's attitude towards these families. “Or don't be responsible for the destruction of the lakaz, or be served in notis lor lafami, or dir li ale san ki ou donn li nanye,” he protests.

Faced with this situation, he advises Wendy Andoo to turn to the Prime Minister's Office.

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