You are here
Residents cry out for water
Justin Sooklal’s wish yesterday morning was that a water truck would fill his tank so he could have a drink of fresh water and bathe. Sitting on a mound of dirt, among his friends, the 11-year-old student of Cedros Government Primary School said he had not had a proper bath in many days. Instead, the beach near his Bamboo Village home in Cedros served as his only means of taking a bath, while any rainwater his family caught was being conserved.
Unable to attend school, Justin joined more than 300 residents of Granville, Cedros and Icacos who staged a fiery demonstration over a lack of pipe-borne water and poor roads. Students of the Cedros Secondary School, who were scheduled to write practice examinations, were told to return home, as their buses could not get through the rubble.
A school official reported that 80 per cent of students could not attend classes because of the roadblocks. From 4 am, residents began burning tyres and old appliances and even cutting trees across the roads. They claim the Water and Sewage Authority (WASA) had made their lives “unsanitary and unhealthy.”
Chanting “We want we water, we want it now,” residents formed a rhythm section in the road, beating lengths of pipes, spoons, bottles and buckets. Former councillor for the area, Basdeo Manmohansingh, lamented the lack of representation from present councillor Fitzroy Beache and parliamentary representative Paula Gopee-Scoon.
Manmohansingh said: “Granville has a large amount of water and it is being sent all the way to Los Iros, and the people of Granville, Cedros and Icacos have been getting a shortage of water for the last couple of weeks. “People do not ask councillors or Members of Parliament to vote for them, they come to you and ask you to support them,” he said.
“After the election and they are elected, you cannot see a member of the council or a member of Parliament in Cedros to talk for the people. “The only way people can get recognition now is by protesting and blocking roads, so that they can get the attention of the people so they can get what they need.” Some residents have been without water for two months, and villagers claimed others were being given preferential treatment for a supply.
Lita Thomas, of Bamboo Village, said it had been three weeks without water and when WASA sent water trucks, very few people were supplied. She said the road also posed a major problem as it was riddled with potholes. Icacos resident Nazmine Massey said it was very unsanitary for women to be without water and they had no supply for two months.
Kelvin Jerome, 62, said he lived with his family of eight and the only clothing they could wash was their underwear. He said whatever rainwater they collected was for drinking and cooking. He added that most of his family and neighbours had to bathe at a beach every day.
WASA’s general manager of corporate communications, Ellen Lewis, said in a statement yesterday: “The Water and Sewerage Authority advises customers in Bamboo Village, Cedros and environs who are currently experiencing difficulties with their water supply that this is due to mechanical problems at the Granville Water Treatment Plant. “This situation has resulted in a drop in production at the plant, which normally produces 700,000 gallons of water per day.
“Presently, adjustments are being made to the distribution network with a view to minimising the impact of the shortfall, particularly in areas at the extremity of system. “A truck-borne water service is also being provided as an interim relief measure.
“For further information, customers can contact WASA’s Customer Service Bureau at 800-4420/4426. “The authority apologises to customers for the interruption in their scheduled service and acknowledges their patience and understanding during the period.”
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.