Super sewer constructors Tideway have offered a 69-year old woman and her severely disabled son £60 for “days out” to escape construction noise – despite the fact they’re both wheelchair-bound and carer dependent, writes Kirsty Purnell.
Mrs Doofa Hussein, 69 and her son, Nasir Abdi, 43, with cerebral palsy were made the £30 per day offer to mitigate for times when noise from machinery is particularly bad at the Chambers Wharf site – one of 24 “super sewer” sites across London.
Mrs Hussein and Mr Abdi are particularly vulnerable to the loud noise due to their medical conditions. Mrs Hussein underwent a heart bypass two months ago and has been advised by doctors that she needs to nap daily and Mr Abdi, when not at the day centre, is bed bound by his disability and becomes incredibly distressed by the noise.
The severe noise is caused by “impact piling” work, which sees a mechanical hammer pushing a girder into the floor of the River Thames. Work times are Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and half-day on Saturday.
Mrs Hussein and Mr Abdi, neither of whom can speak English, cannot leave the house without carers, meaning they cannot take up Tideway’s £30 per day offer.
“They’re wheelchair-bound. They’ve never claimed a day of the money. They need two carers to be able to go out,” said daughter, Mrs Abdi.
“My Mum says she can feel the drill in her heart,” said Mrs Abdi, “and my brother can never sleep. Because he can’t communicate with us, we know he’s irritated but he can’t tell us what’s happening.”
Following complaints from residents in the area, Tideway installed triple glazing on the back windows of properties on Bevington Street. However, Mr Abdi’s bedroom is at the front of the house, meaning he didn’t get the extra pane.
A Tideway spokesperson said: “We have been working closely with residents to understand how they may be affected by our work and how they could benefit from our mitigation and compensation policy.
“Although we cannot go into detail about individual cases, we will continue working with the family to see if there is more we can do to help them.
“It is very important we hear from anyone living around our sites who needs help, so we can work with them and support them through the claims process, where possible. All claims are assessed by an independent panel.”
The Tideway team is available to meet with residents every Wednesday between 2-8pm at the Information on Chambers Street. Anyone affected by their work can also seek advice from the Independent Advisory Service by calling 08000 30 80 80.