Secretary of Infrastructure Kwesi Des Vignes is assuring Mason Hall residents, that the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is considering all alternatives to rebuild the river wall that collapsed near their homes just over one week ago.
“We had our engineers examine the structure that was left and all factors are being considered before we move forward. It’s a very costly exercise but we are prepared to do what we have to to rectify the problem,” Des Vignes told Tobago Today.
Area Representative and Secretary of Community Development, Enterprise Development and Labour Marslyn Melville-Jack gave a similar assurance when she visited the affected residents on July 28, one day after the wall fell.
Melville-Jack said then the “THA has done a full assessment of the situation...and will take appropriate action.”
And Director of the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA)Allan Stewart said his agency is also assisting to monitor the wall.
Agatha Pierre-McClean, a resident who occupies one of four houses once protected by the wall, said she feared her home will fall into the river. One of the houses is under construction.
“I need help. This is urgent. My house and the other three belonging to my family can fall into the river anytime, as the rain and flowing water is eating away the wall,” the Coco Watty Trace homeowner said.
Recounting the experience, she described the sound of the nine-year-wall crashing down and its discovery as “terrifying.”
“I was in my bedroom around 11:30 am when I heard like there was a terrible car crash ... when I saw the space where the wall was my heart fell. It was terrifying.”
The woman, who is in her 60s, said she cannot spend her life savings to build another wall.
“Even if we all put together and buy materials, it will be too costly as the material is more expensive now than nine years ago,” she said.