Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 18th 2017 Contents news A7
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 guardian.co.ttChatham residents beg for help
Fiery protest for water
"Since Mary had a little lamb," the
residents of Food Crop Road#1 and #2,
Chatham have been begging the Min-
istry of Public Utilities and the Water
and Sewerage Authority (WASA) for a
supply of pipe borne water.
Now fed up of the broken promises and
having to spend $700 weekly for 1,200 gal-
lons of water, their anger spilled over with a
fiery protest along the Southern Main Road
that caused traffic to pile up for hours yes-
Close to 60 residents gathered at the junc-
tion of Food Crop Road #1, near a WASA
substation, where they lit tyres and other
debris across the road.
Pig farmer Ricardo Mc Bain said the
residents are mostly farmers and they are
not getting an adequate supply of water to
produce their crops and rare their animals.
Mc Bain said when they cannot get a truck
borne water supply, they have to fetch water
from a standpipe, two miles away from their
community. He said they resorted to protest
action because it seemed like it was the only
way to get anything done in T&T.
"We need water urgently as possible.
From ever since, we have been applying to
the Ministry and the Self Help Commission
but we are not getting any water. All they
said is that they will look into it. They took
down our names and a petition, but nothing
has come out of it.
"At present, I have a hole that I dug with
an excavator but by March, all the water will
be dried up and I won't be able to mind any
animals. I am trying to feed the nation, but
I cannot do it without water.
"Since Mary had a little lamb we have been
applying for water in this road. Now the lamb
has gotten big and slaughtered, we still have
not gotten anything," Mc Bain said. Kowsillia
Lalachansingh said her children are suffering
as she has not washed clothes in over a week.
Water is not the only problem for the
residents as the village is affected by land-
slips and during the wet season, their riv-
er overflows. Davanand Seetaram said the
swollen river broke its banks recently and
swept away his animals. He said the river
has been blocked for a while and despite
reporting it to the Ministry of Agriculture,
nothing was done.
Police squared off with the protesters, but
along with fire-fighters and workers from
the Point Fortin Borough Corporation, they
were able to clear the road and allowed traf-
fic to flow by 10 am. The villagers said that
they plan to take their issues directly to the
relevant government bodies.
Cedros Councillor Shankar Teelucksingh
said the Siparia Regional Corporation (SRC)
was trying to schedule a truck-borne water
supply for the residents, three days per week.
Teelucksingh said the corporation was
informed that a hydrant in the community
that was needed to supply the villagers with
water was shut off so they would have to full
water tenders in San Fernando. However, he
said after speaking with WASA yesterday,
the hydrant will be reopened.
to cut off Mayaro
RADHICA DE SILVA
Fed up of bad roads, a lack of pipe borne water
and a landslip which has destroyed half of the
roadway, residents of Agostini Village, Rio Claro
yesterday staged fiery protests causing massive
For the first half of the day, motorists heading to
Point Galeota, Mayaro, Princes Town and Rio Claro
were unable to get to their destination as the residents
blocked the Naparima/Mayaro Road at Agostini Village.
A parallel access road through Ecclessville was also
blocked with debris, old tyres and fallen trees.
The pre-dawn action coincided with another protest
on the south western part of the island where farmers
protested for similar amenities. One resident Vishnu
Ramdial said since October last year, the main road at
Agostini Village, which links Rio Claro to Mayaro was
affected by a massive landslip.
Councillor Shaffick Mohammed said the collapsed
road only allows for single lane traffic and this causes
road rage and frustration. He also said that farmers
at Agostini have difficulty in taking their produce to
the market. He said two houses on both sides of the
landslip have started to crack.
MP for Mayaro Rushton Paray said he raised the
matter in Parliament in October 2015 but no work
has yet been done.
Following the protest yesterday, Paray said he spoke
with Director of Highways Navin Ramsingh who said
all the preliminary work for the landslip has already
He said soil testing was also done and tenders will go
out soon. Once that process is completed, Paray said
work will start on the landslip by March.
Residents and farmers of Chatham Village, Cedros during their protest yesterday.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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