As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, with a national state of emergency lasting until at least the end of May, 37-year-old Jenny Rolle said she is preparing for the worst-case scenario.
Rolle is a Family Islander who was already struggling to cope with the emergency measures that resulted in a 24-hour curfew and weekend-long lockdowns.
In a recent interview with The Nassau Guardian, the mother of six said she is considering using an old school bus as a trailer home and growing her own food to take care of herself and her children.
“I don’t think it’s going to get better, so I’m preparing myself,” Rolle said.
“I’m looking online for ideas for doing a trailer home. I started building on my property but now I can’t do anything, but they have a lot of old school buses ‘round so I’m trying to get one and make a trailer home.
“I already planted some veggies so [as] this rainy season starts, they [will be] coming up. And trying to get some funds to get a well dug…”
Rolle is unemployed, even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, but claimed she has yet to hear back from the National Insurance Board (NIB) despite applying for unemployment assistance since February.
While three of the four children who live with her are on welfare, Rolle said, the social assistance they received provided little help.
She said the other two children live in Nassau with their father, but he has had fewer hours to work since the emergency measures shut down most businesses.
“I have six kids and their dad is still there, but it’s only him one working at this time,” Rolle said.
“I live on the island and he’s in Nassau, so he pays the bills and sends groceries…
“So, the landlord still looking for rent money. Thank God the light, water and BTC on hold for now ‘cause there is not enough income coming in to pay those bills.
“The bank line is long so sometimes the funds can’t come to me on time, so I does have to peck on the little that we have.”
She added, “There are many of people on the island [who] need help. It’s not fair to be on lockdown with no job and the landlord still asking for rent, also on the islands food stores prices went from high to higher and we don’t have it.
…Something needs to be done.”
The government recently established a National Food Committee intended to ensure that all Bahamians in need will have food.