Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 29th 2018 Contents news A13
Monday, January 29, 2018
Two months after part of the impover-
ished community of Bayshore Avenue,
Marabella, was cut off when an historic
bridge collapsed into the Marabella
River, it has been replaced by a bailey
While some residents raised concerns
about the safety of the fencing at the side
of the bridge, Works and Transport Min-
ister Rohan Sinanan said the fencing will
be reinforced this week. San Fernando
West MP Faris Al-Rawi, meanwhile,
said it was a vast improvement from the
two pieces of planks that lay on the old
bridge that once supported the T&T for-
Last November, the bridge, which was
over 100 years old, fell into the river,
leaving over 12 families without access
to and from their homes. It was only a
week before that they had raised con-
cerns about the deteriorating structure
over the deep river mouth.
Officially opening the bridge on Satur-
day, Sinanan said that the former govern-
ment had proposed to pay $2.8 million to
construct the bridge.
However, through the ministry’s com-
petitive bidding process, the bridge
was done by Lutchmeesingh’s Trans-
port Contractors Ltd at a cost of
$700,000. He said the bailey
bridge, which was already part
of the ministry’s assets,
could last up to 20 years.
Although the choice
of a bridge was cheaper
than the one proposed
under the former gov-
ernment, he said it would
have taken eight months to
build as opposed the one week it took to
assembly the bailey bridge.
While unemployment con-
tinues to be a problem
in the community, Al-
Rawi said several peo-
ple were hired for the
bailey bridge project. He said in
another part of the community,
there was another project to
build accommodations for fire
victims and more residents were
This year, 2018, will make
it three years since the
Government has not
given a subvention to the
T&T Cancer Society. A
total of $6 million is now
being owed to the organi-
sation, according to chair-
man of the society, George
In an interview yesterday,
Laquis said the Cancer Society
depended on donations and
subsidy from the Government
which amounts to $2 million a
“I am glad to hear the Chutney
Soca Monarch got their money.
We (Cancer Society) have an
agreement and they are to subsidize. We are screening
the at-risk groups and promoting healthy lifestyles and we
need to step up our game as far as prevention is concerned.
Everyone is shifting towards prevention, the psychological
impact and implications,” he said. “We still getting support
from the private sector but not the Government. You could
tell me how much you care, but show me.
I was suppose to step out now. For 45 years I am doing
this and I retired two or three years ago. I was asked to
return. I am finished after this. I feel this is my life’s work
and I am watching an uncaring Government allow it to die.
That doesn’t make anybody healthier. If you don’t have a
healthy nation, you don’t have a nation. Their message is
we don’t care.”
He said the country was fighting against a high mortality
rate of cancer and especially cervical cancer.
“You can spend money having chemotherapy or radia-
tion. Cancer is one of the highest mortality and cervical
cancer is higher than developed countries. In America it is
almost down to zero because they are screening and they
will eradicate it eventually.
We are doing pap smears and wet smears,” he said.
Laquis said they also launched FIT (fecal immunochemis-
try test) which is a simple test on stool to check DNA.
“To see if there is blood, we launched FIT and that cost
money. We are going to areas, the areas you (the Govern-
ment health service) don’t screen. We go to the vulnerable
population, we go out in the community.
“Colm Imbert (Minister of Finance) always supported and
suddenly you passing by everything, because nobody cares
unless they get cancer. You are not giving us a handout, you
are paying us to do your job and the public is funding us and
the private sector by fundraisers,” he said.
He said letters were written to Imbert, Prime Minister Dr
Keith Rowley and Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh.
are crippling us...the new model is health
and maintenance. They just don’t know
what they are doing, the message is clear.
One morning they are going to wake up
and be surprised,” he added.
When contacted, Imbert said via
email: “I suggest you contact the
line minister at the MOH about this
matter.” Deyalsingh, meanwhile, said:
“Six million? I will have to look into
Councillor for Marabella West
Laverne Smith and San
Fernando Mayor Junia
Regrello tour the newly
completed bailey bridge on
the Marabella Train Line, on
PICTURE RISHI RAGOONATH
Cancer Society chairman George
DEYALSINGH: I WILL HAVE
TO LOOK INTO THAT TOMORROW
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