WATCH: A mother of six is living without water in slum which smells of sewage
A 33-year-old mother of six is living in derelict rooms in a Valletta slum without any running water and where there is a constant smell of sewage. The mother spoke with TVM after this week Dissett discussed the problem of social housing, with the woman saying that she applied for Government housing ten years ago but has never been contacted.
Setting foot into the entrance of this building is already enough to give you a shock. A crew from TVM met with Graziella Bonello who asked us to visit her after she saw the programme which discussed the issue of housing.
As you walk into the rooms you feel like you have entered a different era, with the stairs wet with the water which is dripping from the ceiling. By the time the woman came to speak to us, we already felt shivers at what we were seeing.
Graziella is raising her six children by herself in two rooms, with no running water and the smell of sewage which fills the air. She said that she has been asking for social assistance for a long time, but to date no one has understood her and she is very angry.
“I am so full of rage. When there is a thunderstorm, the walls shake, and the children are terrified. When there was the earthquake I thought the building was going to collapse on top of us.”
The children are aged between two and ten years, five boys and a girl. For a few months, Graziella also had to be admitted to Mount Carmel because of mental problems, and the children had to be sent to a Children’s Home. Graziella said she loves her children very much and does not want them to live in a Home because they are hers. All she wants is one decent room where she and her children can live.
Graziella Bonello said that “all I am asking is for a Government flat, and it’s not for myself as much as it’s for the kids. My son has asthma because of the smell of sewage, and I am constantly taking him to the clinic.”
She has no running water, and she only has access to water thanks to the neighbours who help her out and give her water in jerrycans.
This is the situation which Housing Authority officials will come across as they start meeting with the applicants over the next few weeks, so that the Authority will have an exact profile of who is on the waiting list.
Despite the fact that she lives in this extreme poverty, Graziella is only concerned about her children, and even showed us the Carnival costumes which she made for them herself so that her children can have fun over the next few days.