A Williamsville family of seven lives in a windowless plywood shack covered with dilapidated galvanise sheets on a parcel of land that was once a dumping site.
With no steady work and little money, Aziz Hosein, 42, a labourer/Ph driver, and his wife, Sumintra Dindial, 42, a housewife, struggles daily to provide food for their five children, ages 12, 11, 10, eight, and three.
Four of the children attend school and used to receive meals through the school feeding programme.
The family is not a recipient of a food card or any other social grant. To get into their home which is not outfitted with electricity, the family has to pass through a hole. The house is furnished with only three mattresses.
Water is also a scarce commodity and they often depend on rainwater to drink, cook, bathe and do their laundry. There are no bathroom or toilet facilities at their Coconut Drive home.
Hosein is appealing for assistance for materials to construct a proper and comfortable home for his family.
“I want some nice rooms for them, a house, water, current. Right now if I get some ply and galvanize and two by four I could fix it up a little bit for them,” he said
With the COVID-19 restrictions in place, Hosein has not been getting work.
He said, “Since this virus my husband not working and we really struggling right now to get food and money wise to feed our children and feed us. It is very hard for us and for my husband now. Next thing he gets the virus too,” said Dindial.
Hosein said he no longer works taxi because “it not really making sense” because he barely makes money due to the limitation on the number of passengers per trip. However, Hosein said he was willing to work.
“Sometimes I get a lil work to spread two bags of cement and make a little $100, buy the time you buy a pack of flour and a lil thing that money run out. It come like you have to start over,” said Hosein.
Living there for the last 11 years, Hosein said five times he had to rebuild their home because the land, which is on the riverbank, keeps eroding. The family’s living conditions are deplorable.
He said, “We have no electricity. We all live in dark sometimes, we all sleep in dark, we light candle sometimes when we have and when we don’t we sleep just so. We have two bedrooms and sometimes we have no sheets on our bed. Rain fell what day, and wet up our bedroom and clothes.” Dindial said she used to cook on a fireside, but last Christmas someone gave her a gas stove with one working burner. People who know their situation assists them with food hampers.
Anyone willing to assist the family can contact them at 318-7947.