I couldn’t sleep when rain was coming – New Orange Hill homeowner says

By Admin. Updated 5:55 a.m., Friday, September 3, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

One of the recipients of the newly built and furnished houses at Orange Hill for volcano-affected persons – Mr. Alfred Lavia. Photo: One News SVG.

A new homeowner at Orange Hill, North Windward says he is very thankful for his new home as he can finally sleep without wondering about the river when it rains.

In an interview with One News St. Vincent’s Havlyn Gill, 86-year-old Alfred Lavia said: “When I lived at Overland, I couldn’t sleep when you hear rain coming because we had to sleep and peep out the window to see if the river come down. It was really difficult over there.”

Mr. Lavia is a recipient of one of the 27 newly-built and furnished houses the government handed over to residents who lost their homes during the 2021 La Soufrière volcanic eruptions.

He and members of his family were displaced as their house was destroyed during the eruptions.

Many homes were destroyed due to heavy ash fall or due to mudslides or lahars. Many persons had to be relocated, especially those who lived on or near river banks.

Mr. Lavia told One News St. Vincent that he, “would give no complaints about his new home in Orange Hill,” because he doesn’t have to worry about the river washing away his house when heavy rains come.

“Weh I deh here now, I sleep better than the Queen,” Mr. Lavia said with laughter.

“Since I came here, I don’t even know if rain come until in the morning when I get up and open one of them window, ah go see rain fall. It is real nice,” the 86-year-old said.

He said the 2021 volcanic eruptions are the worst he has seen, having witnessed eruptions in 1971, 1979, and 2021.

“In 71, it wasn’t bad. In 79, it wasn’t so serious, but this volcano here, the old queen that lie down up there, she is a serious lady and she gave us a lot of problems this time,” Mr. Lavia said.

Some 27 volcano affected families received keys to their new homes at Orange Hill in September 1, 2022, from the Ministry of National Mobilization, Social Development, Family, Gender Affairs, Youth, Housing and Informal Human Settlements.

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