Last update: 04-Dec-2013 10:40 pm
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Diego Martin’s main grouse: Flooding
Selwyn Henry, a businessman of St Lucien Road, Diego Martin, says the most important thing for the people of the district is for the regional corporation to deal with the flooding problem. His statement was echoed by many others. Henry, whose grocery was flooded when floods ravaged Diego Martin in September said local government representatives had contributed to the problem and it was now their responsibility to fix it. Henry said: “They built a bridge in the river and the bridge is built in a way that it blocks any branches or bamboo that comes down in the river. The water backs up and it creates a flood. “Diego Martin would flood before but never as bad as the last two times it happened. The most important thing to deal with in Diego Martin is the flooding problem.”
The bridge, Henry spoke about, is located in Blue Basin, near the waterwheel and after last month’s flood, machinery was brought in to remove debris which had blocked the water from flowing. The Diego Martin Regional Corporation has ten districts from Cocorite in the west to Chaguaramas and Glencoe in Carenage. The corporation covers over 127 square kilometres of land. All around the Diego Martin Regional Corporation piles of garbage lay at the side of roads and garbage overflowed from garbage disposals or remained in heaps in empty lots. Whether one goes to Bagatelle or Alyce Glen, St Lucien Road or Covigne, the region seems to have a big problem with garbage disposal. “It isn’t that they don’t come to collect the garbage. They come every two days but it isn’t enough because when they don’t come we don’t have anywhere to put our trash so it just ends up smelling bad at the side of the road or being attacked by dogs,” one young man told the T&T Guardian while standing with a group on Hummingbird Circular, Petit Valley. “We need big bins in the area and we need them to build some drains. There are no drains on these roads,” he added.
Edwin Joseph, a resident of Cameron Road, Petit Valley, pointed to two large yellow bins provided for the community to dispose of its garbage. The bins were placed at the side of the road and bags of garbage lay in mounds around it. The garbage isn’t the main reason Joseph says he has been disappointed with the services provided by local government. Joseph’s main concern is the lack of development in his community. He pointed to an empty lot of land covered with vines and trees. Joseph added: “The land is here and we have been asking for a sporting facility and a play park for years instead the young people here have to play football in the road. “Every time a car passes they have to move and each election someone comes in here and say they would help but nobody ever does. “I’m not going to vote. I don’t want to play this guessing game with councillors and they always play with people’s emotions. They say they would do something and make promises but never do what they say they would do.”
Ayoke Goodridge, a resident of Bagatelle for the past two decades, spoke of neglect in her community. “The savannah which they started under the PNM has been abandoned. People in this community have no sort of place to go to come together. “There is no place for sport or even for a wedding and these last councillors came in and met work happening and they never continued it,” Goodridge said. She added: “They should have continued the work. They are supposed to be representing the people. “There are many other issues to deal with. Roads need fixing and resurfacing, drains need to be fixed and they still have not cleaned up properly after the flood a month ago. “They cleaned the drain and left everything at the side of the road so if it rains again it will just go right back in.” In Glencoe and other parts of Carenage, residents have access to beautiful beaches but limited or no access to water to drink or bathe. Alan Fereira, said his Glencoe home continued to receive water only three days a week despite noticing WASA doing work in the area regularly.
Fereira, who was walking near the MP’s office in the area, said his community had no water on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week. “I’m not voting. I don’t see anyone worth voting for. All day, every day they (political parties) are coming with the noise and flyers and music and I just hope they clean up after everything is finished,” he added.
The Diego Martin Regional Corporation is currently controlled by the People’s Partnership Government. In the 2010 local government elections, the United National Congress (UNC) won six seats in the corporation, leaving three for the People’s National Movement (PNM) and one for the Congress of the People. This was the only time that the corporation was controlled by any other party than the PNM, who won all seats in the 1992 local government elections. The corporation was created in 1990 and was formerly part of the St George West County Council.
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