Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 17th 2018 Contents news A5
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Minister: Boycott wet
fetes to save water
Partygoers who intend to go to
wet fetes this Carnival season are
asked to think twice before they
do so, especially if they complain
about the country’s poor water
supply and delivery.
These were the words of Public
Utilities Minister, Robert Le Hunte
yesterday as he was addressing
water conservation issues.
The Minister was speaking to re-
porters following the launch of a
new mobile app implemented by
the Water and Sewerage Author-
ity (WASA) at the company’s St
The new app, allows customers
to pay their bills, report leaks and
request truck-borne water. It will
be ready for download on android
phones and on iOS devices, by
“Therefore, as you enjoy the
Carnival season and engage in the
water, let us remember that water
comes from one source and as the
saying goes ‘you cannot have your
cake and eat it too’ or rather the
local version of this adage ‘you
cannot wet down and drink it
too,’” he said.
He suggested that people boy-
cott these wet fetes and instead be
a part of the solution.
“WASA’s police have their part
to play and can intervene but we
must not lay blame or expecta-
tions on them and the fete pro-
moters. We have to be part of the
solution and not go to these events
where water is wasted,” the min-
“We are about to embark upon
the dry season. Water is a deplet-
ing resource and based upon in-
ternational standards, we here in
T&T use more than five times the
water of our compatriots in other
countries. Simply put, it is imper-
ative if we want to see an improve-
ment in the delivery of water to
all, then we must change our con-
sumption patterns,” he added.
The Rapid Response Pro-
gramme, which is geared towards
optimising WASA’s existing work-
force for the purpose of fixing
leaks quickly and efficiently, will
operate in tandem with the app.
The Minister disclosed that as of
Friday over 2,600 leaks through-
out T&T have been identified.
In challenging WASA’s manage-
ment to bring that number down,
by 70 per cent, Le Hunte said that
the number of leaks by year’s end
would be reduced to 800.
“By doing so, we will also be
able to reduce the amount of
Non-Revenue Water in the system,
thus ensuring that more water is
available to consumers through-
out the country,” he said.
In giving his own experience, Le
Hunte said it is unacceptable for a
large sector of the population not
to receive a reliable water supply.
“Like you, it irks me when I see
water being wasted on the roads.
It gets me even more upset when
I arrive at home and cannot get
water from my tap. And I am triply
upset when I realise that as a tax-
payer, I contribute to the three-bil-
lion-dollar subvention that WASA
receives annually, and yet there is
a large percentage of the popula-
tion that does not receive a relia-
ble supply of water. That, to me,
is totally unacceptable. And I am
convinced that all Trinbagonians
share the pain that I feel and that
they are anxious to be part of the
The Ministry of Public Utilities
will be joining the agencies—WASA
and T&TEC by launching its own
Partygoers are doused with water during the IUp 5th annual cooler-wet fete at Pier1 Chaguaramas last Sunday.
PICTURE DION ROACH
Men can be arrested for ‘thiefing a
wine’ during Carnival but Govind
Seepersad has to pay a woman
$12,000 in compensation for grop-
ing a woman’s genitals during the
festival a decade ago.
Seepersad, 25, was expected to
be sentenced yesterday in the San
Fernando Second Assize, but he
asked for more time to make up the
Seepersad, a welder/fabricator,
who was then 17, pleaded guilty to
the charge of indecent assault.
The incident took place on Carni-
val Tuesday on February 24, 2009,
around 8.20 pm in Penal.
The woman, dressed in a pair of
long jeans and black halter top, was
walking along the SS Erin Road with
her boyfriend during the Carnival
festivities. The couple was standing
near a supermarket when Seeper-
sad passed on her right side, pushed
his hand between the woman’s legs
and grabbed her crotch.
The woman’s boyfriend chased
after Seepersad and took him to
the nearest police officer, PC Vinton
Dinoo, who was on foot patrol duty.
Confronted by the woman, Seep-
ersad said, “I never do that.”
The officer took Seepersad to
Penal Police Station and recorded
statements from the woman and
her boyfriend. The officer took
Seepersad to his Penal home where
they met his father, who accompa-
nied them back to the station.
In 2016, Justice Althea Alex-
is-Windsor did a maximum sentence
indication where she suggested a
three-year bond to keep the peace
and be of good behaviour and the
$12,000 compensation as the max-
The matter, however, did not get
off the ground until last December
when Seepersad pleaded guilty be-
fore Justice Hayden St Clair Douglas.
His attorney Cedric Neptune said
his client was apologetic. He said
Seepersad was young and may have
had beverages which he ought not
to have consumed at his age.
Seepersad, he said, would have
just completed school and has no
previous convictions or pending
The matter was adjourned to Feb-
ruary 28 for sentencing.
Mayor: Give more to support downtown mas
Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez
yesterday called on business peo-
ple to be more generous to help
host downtown Carnival as each
year the event has gotten “bigger
Faced with tough economic
times, Martinez said there would
be certain cutbacks for 2018.
He assured that the event would
still maintain all its pomp and
pageantry and monetary prizes
would not be adjusted.
Martinez was speaking at a
press briefing held at the Port-of-
Spain City Corporation yesterday
said the downtown Carnival could
not take place without sponsor-
He said an estimated $1.2 mil-
lion was spent on downtown
Carnival annually. He said the Na-
tional Lotteries Control Board had
“There was a letter earlier that
the NLCB was not going to give
us any sponsorship but they have
“We are trying to receive addi-
tional monies to bridge the gap,”
the mayor said.
Martinez said additional spon-
sorship was forthcoming includ-
ing a yearly subvention from the
National Carnival Commission.
He said over the years a num-
ber of large bands had returned to
downtown, adding to the volume
Chairman of the Downtown
Carnival Committee Wendell Ste-
phens, who also spoke, said, “We
have written a lot of letters for
sponsorship and we are hoping to
get a positive response.
“What we have done over the
years is reduce the category but
not the prize structure,” Stephens
He also urged Port-of-Spain
businessmen to financially sup-
port downtown Carnival.
Martinez also promised that the
decibel level would be adhered to
during the celebrations.
A statement from the Environ-
mental Management Authority
(EMA) said the decibel level for a
fete is 65 dBA.
“We also want to encourage
band leaders to be very mindful
of this. It may seem a bit difficult
at this time but people will get
accustomed to it and understand
that the music does not have to be
up more than the fete,” Martinez
On vending during Carnival
Monday and Tuesday the mayor
said there was a process to be
followed and those who did not
abide by the law would be re-
moved by police.
Soca diva Destra Garcia is expected
be honoured at the launch of
downtown Carnival on Friday.
Garcia, known as the Queen of
Bacchanal, would be honoured
during a cultural function at
The parade route for downtown,
Stephens said, would not be
changed. He said the NCC’s kiddies
mas would start from South Quay
where there would be separate
judging by downtown judges
before the bands head up to
Queen’s Park Savannah where they
would be judged by the NCC.
He said on Carnival Sunday the
Downtown Carnival Committee
would hold its own kiddies mas
beginning at South Quay.
The start of J’Ouvert would be
proclaimed at 4 am, ushering in
the reign of the Merry Monarch on
DESTRA TO BE HONOURED
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