Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the Defence Force had to be called in to manage and guard the new Laventille Community Swimming Pool.
Yesterday the Prime Minister officially opened the $4.9 million dollar facility which will be called the Sogren Trace Swim Club.
He said the Defence Force had to manage the swimming pool facility to ensure it is not misused or poorly maintained.
“The maintenance becomes the issue now, and the Government will take steps to ensure that the maintenance is done. It is the utilisation that will be important. This pool is built for a purpose and to ensure that it is used for that purpose, I will advise the Minister of Finance, to ensure that in the budget, for the Defence Force at the appropriate line item, there are adequate resources made available because the CDS and his team will need those resources to bring to Laventille and to deliver here what is required to make this pool a success,” said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister urged the residents to not allow the pool to go to waste.
He also called on the people of the community to ensure that the facility does not become lost to the stigma of the area.
“Laventille has been stigmatised as a place in our nation where indiscipline prevails and where violence is the order of the day, to the extent that if this facility is built and left here without the proper response and arrangement in a matter of three months it will be taken over by frogs, because frogs will love to live in there. The water will turn green and the pool would become a failure,” said Dr Rowley.
He also hoped that the management of the facility would reduce potential conflict, “It requires management, it requires discipline to keep it clean and usable and healthy. It requires the management structure and the inputs that we associate with the Defence Force and the Coast Guard to come here in the community along with the police service. And the parents of the neighbourhood to ensure that this neighbourhood is a safe neighbourhood for youngsters and their families to walk to and from this facility.”
He said the Defence Force would designate specific days for activities, so as to minimise possible conflicts.
The Prime Minister also called on volunteers to come forward to help with the development of talent in the area.
“And I am sure in the Defence Force and the Coast Guard; there are swimmers, there are organisers, who would want to volunteer here, just to make sure that they contribute to changing the life of a boy or girl in Trinidad. Find those volunteers and attach them to this programme,” said Rowley.