Claxton Bay residents are planning to start a petition to take to the Government calling for the Forres Park dump to be relocated.
Yesterday, smog from an ongoing fire at the dump caused the principal of the Springvalle Hindu Primary School to send home some 200 students.
Bush fires ignited the dump late on Monday.
Ashmeed Ghany, who lives opposite the school, had to use a nebulizer as he was unable to breathe properly on Monday night and early yesterday. Ghany, 51, suffers from Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema, a condition where water gathers in the lungs.
He has lived his whole life in Claxton Bay and, now that he is ailing, he wants the Government to step in and relieve the hardships faced by the residents.
"This is a regular occurrence in Claxton Bay. Every year during the dry season someone lights the dump afire and we are left to suffer," Ghany said.
"We have been calling on successive governments for years and years to step in and move the dump and nobody has done anything."
During an interview at his home yesterday, Ghany began gasping and his wife, Sheriffa, rushed to bring him the nebulizer to allow him to breathe.
Ghany said he had a pacemaker installed after he suffered a major heart attack last year.
"My health is not good anymore, I fall sick regularly and this situation makes it so much worse."
Sheriffa, 44, said she intends to start a petition to take throughout the area.
"We have to do something and if we decide to protest, the question is how many people will be well enough to come out...there are so many cases of asthma and breathing problems in Claxton Bay."
Sheriffa said residents are affected by the stench of the landfill in the rainy season.
"When it's dry season, it's the smoke. In the wet season, it's the stench. It gets really unbearable and we have to face the full brunt of it."
She said her goal is to collect 1,000 signatures to take to Prime Minister Keith Rowley.
"I want them to know how many people, how many children, elderly, sick people are affected by this problem."
Alan Marchan, who was called in to pick up his step-daughter Aaliyah Issac from classes at Springvalle Hindu, echoed the calls of the Ghanys.
"They need to do something about this dump, there are dozens of children who fall ill every year because of the smoke and smog," Marchan said.
Six-year-old Aaliyah was supposed to sit end-of-term mathematics exams yesterday.
While she was excited about having the day off, she said some of her classmates had complained of feeling unwell before classes were dismissed.
Another resident, Rajesh Soondar, told the T&T Guardian that if Government does nothing about the dump, the residents will protest.
"We complaining for years and nobody taking us on. We will start to protest and block roads and maybe then they will hear us," Soondar said.
A statement from the Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company Limited (SWMCOL), which manages the dump, said yesterday the fire at the northeastern side of the Forres Park landfill had been "significantly contained" and efforts are being made to extinguish it.