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Resident on walk to save Matelot

Hope for action on road works in area
Friday, December 13, 2013
Matelot resident John Lewis, 49, as he walked through the village of Toco yesterday to highlight the delapidated roads leading to Matelot.

Matelot resident John Lewis left  the tiny fishing village on the northeast coast on foot yesterday morning on a selfless mission to get Government to save his community. Lewis, 49, a driver who works with the Eastern Regional Health Authority, left home around 6.30 am, and trekked about 20 miles to the village of Cumana but leg cramps forced him to abort his journey to Port-of-Spain. He intends to resume his walk today. “I am walking for my children,” Lewis said, during a telephone interview.



Lewis, who lives on Paria Main Road, said his walk was geared at raising awareness of the government’s failure to fix the narrow roads in the rural community. Wearing a grey T-shirt and track pants, Lewis held a placard printed with the words: “Matelot Need(s) Attention.” Three of Lewis’s five children have been unable to get to school over the past three weeks because of that issue.


He said: “I am trying to sensitise people in the communities about what is taking place. The road is our main concern. Three weeks now my children out of school.” Lewis said parts of the Toco Main Road between Grande Riviere and Matelot were under constant threat of mudslides and landslides. “The Matelot Community College is basically impossible to get to. The children have to go to school in a church and it does not have enough space for an entire school,” Lewis said.


While Lewis walked through communities in Toco, Cumana and other areas between Matelot and Sangre Grande, he will be transported to Port-of-Spain where he planned to deliver three letters. “I am delivering a letter to the Office of the Prime Minister, the President and the Minister of Works,” Lewis said. He added that he was hoping his action would make a difference to road works in his area. “We use the road to get groceries, go to the hospital, schools, everything and nobody is doing anything about it,” he said.


As Lewis walked past houses in Toco, he spoke to residents about their needs to support the call for work to be done in their communities. One man asked him what he felt would come out of the walk. “I am fighting for you, for all of us, so that we could get materials to fix the roads,” he responded. Lewis said all the authorities needed to do was make the road passable.


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