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Protest in Manning’s area over lack of jobs
Mon Repos residents yesterday staged a fiery protest in the constituency of former prime Minister Patrick Manning over the lack of jobs, water and maintenance. From around 1.30 pm residents dragged tyres along the Naparima-Mayaro Road, opposite the HDC apartment buildings, causing a traffic pile-up. Under police presence, residents, with placards, stayed by the buildings, calling on Prime Minister Kamla Persd-Bissessar to help them.
Residents believe they are being politically victimised. Councillor Shaka Joseph said the residents should not be criticised for taking such action because they were frustrated. He said: “It Is over a year now Cepep has been removed from the whole of San Fernando East. Most of them are single parent mothers.
“They have no income coming in right now and things are getting harder and tougher and the community itself needs cleaning. “There are avenues for employment and the Government just not creating it for the people.” He said 90 per cent of the people in the buildings was not working since 80 families were “eliminated” from Cepep.
Joseph said he had several meeting with the Cepep board, Cepep chairman and the San Fernando City Corporation, with no results. He said Mon Repos/Navet had three Cepep contracts but they were terminated and not reinstated under the present Government. He said 200 families were left on the breadline.
With no Cepep workers, he said, the drains were not being cleaned and the bushes were overgrown. He said the building had not been painted in over ten years. Single parent Marilyn Pharan, a mother of five, said: “The school is just 100 metres away and we cannot see it because of the bush. The children cannot pass through the track... is cockroach, is rat. We fed up.
“We need help. Right now we suffering. We fed up wake up in the morning and see hungry mouths.” Pharan said she was in the Colour Me Orange Programme for only two months. Janetta Kala also complained about an irregular water supply for the past few months.
She added: “Water come from 5 am to 8 am and not everyday. No employment, books to buy in September, uniform to buy in September and Mon Repos has no Cepep, no URP. Residents of Wooding Street who arrived after the Fire Services removed the debris, complained that for three weeks they have had no water in their pipes. The residents promised to continue protests until they got some assistance. Manning is still in United States recuperating from a stroke.
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