Travellers heading into Port-of-Spain yesterday were made to endure the months of frustration Beetham Gardens residents had pent up over leaking sewer lines in their community.
From as early as 6 am, scores of residents burnt debris along the Beetham Highway causing traffic congestion for over two hours.
“To the people this morning, we sorry for putting you all out of your way but it was necessary for us to get our point across,” Wendell Jardeen told Guardian Media yesterday.
“It is not the best way to go about it but it’s the only way to get attention because that is the only way the government does deal with Beetham people. We are not targeting the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and make you feel no how,” Jardeen lamented.
Residents told Guardian Media for close to six months, sewer water has been flooding their homes, clogging their pipes while the stench has also been taking a toll.
The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) started sewer pipeline works last October, however, residents said it has been over a month since WASA workers have returned to the site.
“I ask one of the guys who was working WASA why they not on the project because I see him once or twice around, he said they haven’t been paid. All the overtime they never been paid so, they decide to stop coming out and do the work,” according to Jardeen.
Some families, like Patricia Farrel, have had to move out of their homes.
“You could dive in the kitchen. We try to stop it but we couldn’t do nothing but all we could have done is pick up we family and just walk out of the place,” Patricia lamented.
The debris was cleared by police around 7 am, bringing an ease to the traffic congestion heading in and out of the capital city. Police stood guard for several hours with one officer saying “it was like playing cat and mouse with the residents”.
In response yesterday, WASA noted that works to replace a collapsed segment of a 47-inch diameter concrete sewer pipeline along Main Street commenced on October 15, 2021.
“It should be noted that what appears to be a pause in works at the site occurred as the Authority awaited delivery of specially made concrete cylinders for use in the installation of three (3) manholes. These cylinders have been received and transportation to the job site begins today – Monday 10th January 2022.”
WASA said over the period it has installed various pumps within the area to minimize spills and assured residents every effort is being made to complete these works by January 31.