?I guess you could call this Water Woes Part II. Water is spewing from the same pipe up the road that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago and it is pouring down my street. There are leaks further up Sydenham Avenue as well. You would swear it was the rainy season. There's that much water. I called WASA on Carnival Tuesday. I guess I don't have to tell you how that worked out. I didn't have any better luck on Ash Wednesday. I spent my Ash Wednesday–day and night–on the phone, all to no avail. At 6.30 pm, a miracle happened. I was driving down the main road in St Ann's until I came to a pickup truck that had stopped in front of me. I stopped, because I couldn't see if vehicles were coming, only to have a rude man shout at me and wave me on. I happened to see a tiny WASA sign on the back of the truck just as he growled, "You can't stop there. We're fixing something in the road."
I couldn't tell you what he was fixing in the road because I didn't see a leak. I ignored his rudeness and said, "I have been calling and calling about a leak up on Sydenham Avenue." I didn't have to say anything more. He told me where the leak was and then, much to my surprise, he said, "I was just there, and that leak belongs to ----" He tried to tell me that the leak in the road belonged to a house on the other side of the road. He even told me the person's name. "They'll have to fix it," the WASA guy said. "WASA is not making joke with people wasting water anymore." That would be laughable if the situation wasn't so serious and if WASA took the leaks they should be repairing more seriously. I fled the scene because that WASA guy was scary mean. After I left, I wished I had been braver. I should have asked him how a leak in the road can be the responsibility of a resident.
Maybe I am dotish, but it seems to me that leaks in the road are or should be the responsibility of WASA. Aren't people responsible for leaks in their own yards? And what about the fact there's been a leak in that very same spot for the last 21 years, long before that particular place the WASA guy is blaming the leak on was even built? And even if the WASA guy's accusations were true, why would WASA walk away from a pipe gushing water into the air? Why wouldn't they fix it? The two WASA guys actually came to the leak, stood up in the road, watched the leak in the road and decided it was the responsibility of a resident, and they weren't going to do anything about it. Even though this made no sense to me, I decided to tell the person WASA blamed for the broken pipe. I decided to do that because he told me the person would get charged. I didn't think I should keep information like that to myself even though it made no sense.
So I went back home, called out the person WASA said should fix the pipe and told him everything the guy said. His response was "Why are you telling me this?" I suppose that is a good question. Needless to say his tone was not a happy one. Me and my puzzled self answered, "I'm telling you because nothing about this leak makes any sense to me. We live in a neighbourhood and we have to find solutions to our problems. A pipe spewing water for over 20 years is a problem." (I'm not sure if I said this or was just thinking this). I did say, "We have to figure out the politics of this leak thing. This can't go on." This can't go on because the deluge from the busted pipe is eroding the road. This can't go on because tons of water have been wasted over 21 years. This can't go on because I am mentally exhausted and hopelessly sad from seeing so much water wasting.
I don't understand why a pipe can't be fixed and why WASA can't find a solution to this problem and fix all the busted pipes in Trinidad in a timely manner. I don't understand why a pipe is lying on top of the ground instead of under the ground, and why people keep throwing dirt or gravel on top of it like that is a solution to the problem. I am getting more and more confused and disenchanted about this pipe, which has come to symbolise all the broken pipes in T&T to me. The way the situation is being handled makes me seriously question the way things are handled in general in Trinidad. The pass-the-buck policy just gets everyone nowhere. Nothing gets done. Nothing gets fixed. And resources are wasting.