Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 5th 2017 Contents A10 news
guardian.co.tt Sunday, March 5, 2017
Crime, water woes in Maracas Valley
Deep in the Maracas Valley, a
few kilometres away from one of
Trinidad's more famous water-
falls is a galvanized and wooden
structure, fruits, vegetables, and
produce on display.
In the structure, which sits on the
Maracas Royal Road, is the Simon
family, vendors who have lived in
the valley for over 20 years.
Cherrie Simon, who often sells
from the structure with her moth-
er, told the Sunday Guardian crime
in the valley is a major problem for
members of the community.
A month ago, one cousin was
stabbed to death by another cous-
in. Two weeks after that incident,
a villager was shot to death in what
police initially thought was a reprisal
A few weeks ago, Simon said gun-
men ran across the road shooting at
each other in the middle of the day.
"Safety is the issue I think for
everybody in the country," Simon
told the Guardian.
"What happened the other day
with the killing in Maracas, it is scary
to be living in the same community
and nobody getting arrested or an-
ything so the criminals just here and
nothing being solved."
Simon said this fear existed despite
a strongly visible police presence in
"The police drive by often but they
just drive through and go."
She said being a vendor in the val-
ley gave her a front row view of crime.
"The other day a guy try to rob a
taxi driver and ran through here with
this big gun in front of him. It was
bright daylight, so it really doesn't
make you feel safe at all."
She said one of the other issues in
the valley was flooding among resi-
dents who lived near the river.
Crime, a topic receiving constant
attention in the media and on social
websites, is a particular concern for
many of the students who take up
temporary residence in the valley to
study at the University of the South-
The shootings, which have become
a popular staple in the area scares
21-year-old university student Kezia
Fox and her peers.
"It makes the place scary to walk
around or when you know you have
friends that do bad things and then
there are people who just look creepy,
you feel uncomfortable," Fox said.
She said her concern was shared
by her parents who call continuous-
ly throughout the day to ensure her
"My parents tell me if I am walking,
to make sure I walk with peers to be
safe, especially with all the females
that disappearing right now. It is
really depressing especially with
my skin colour and seeing how a
lot of lighter skinned girls are being
"If I have to walk in the night from
school and back, I make sure that my
room-mates or somebody accompa-
nies me. I only go with cars I know
or I call somebody."
Maracas/St Joseph is one of the
large valleys on the southern side
of the Northern Range. It was one
of the first areas to be settled in the
One of T&T's former presidents,
George Maxwell Richards lives in
Also living in the valley is 61-year-
old gardener Solomon Baptiste.
Baptiste, who sees the crime as a
problem feels it is not as big a prob-
lem as the failure to provide consist-
ent drinking water to many of the
Sitting at the roadside, near Wharf
Trace, waiting on transportation to
run some errands, Baptiste said the
major complaint was water.
"All over this country people
struggle to get proper drinking wa-
ter," he told the Guardian.
"Sometimes we don't get running
water at all for two weeks at a time.
If you stay here for a little while you
will see the water trucks going up and
delivering water for people," Baptiste
said, acknowledging that the local
government officials helped.
"Apart from the crime it is the
water. Water is essential. Water is
"We have to come by the standpipe
and I live about ten minutes on the
hillside. I walk down with my bucket
then walk back with it and bathe, and
then I come back down and get water
to cook. A lot of people have to do the
same thing," he said.
The Maracas valley is home to a
university, secondary school, prima-
ry school, and pre school.
Continues on Page A12
Kezia Fox recently moved to Maracas/St Joseph.
Maracas/St Joseph Main Road. PHOTOS: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Maracas/St Joseph silver bridge on the main road.
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