About a month ago there was a massive landslide in a village approximately 5 minutes drive from my house. The landslide washed away a bus shed, water main pipes, and the road.
Landslides are pretty common here during the rainy season and especially in the region where I live. I live in a valley, which sees significantly more rain than the surrounding areas. These landslides usually affect the road, as the road is surrounded by steep hills on both sides. Generally, the landslides are minor and just dump a bunch of mud and some debris into the road. If it does cause the road to be closed, it is usually cleared in a matter of hours or a day or two.
However, the landslide that occurred in early September washed away nearly all the road, approximately 200 feet down a deep ravine. This is the main road connecting the Marriaqua Valley to Kingstown.
Now, the road is diverted. The detour adds an extra 20 minutes to the trip to Town. The detour road is extremely narrow, fitting only one car at a time, adding extra time to maneuver past oncoming cars. In addition, the road is in poor condition (as are most). The road has since been torn up to be repaved. However, I don’t see the repaving taking place any time soon. So now the road is all rocky and gravelly, slowing down traffic further.
In addition to the detour, it seems as though there are significantly fewer vans running. It takes upwards of an hour to catch a van now. I used to brag to all my other Peace Corps friends that Mespo had the most vans and it was so easy to catch a van. Now I know how they feel when they have to wait forever for a van home, or have to leave a function early because vans stop running at 6pm, or they cant go anywhere on a Saturday because they wont be able to get home on a Sunday. Mespo was never like that until now and it sucks.
According to officials, the main road will take “up to 8 months to be reconstructed”. Though I highly suspect it will take much much longer, based on previous instances of road construction.
*All photos courtesy of CWSA and SVG TV