Beetham sewer issues continue

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

HEAR US: Residents from Beetham Gardens hold up placards during an early-morning protest on May 2 over leaking sewer lines which cause raw faeces to flow onto the roads and into houses. – Photo by Enrique Rupert

MORE than three weeks since the residents of Beetham Gardens protested over sewer lines overflowing in the area, nothing has been done to fix the problem.

The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) has remained mum on the issue.

But vice president of the community council Shaquille McIntosh said on May 16 a WASA official and a possible contractor had come to look at the problem.

McIntosh said, “They’ll have to expedite the work because of its nature and the contractor would most likely get the job, as no other contractor came.”

When Newsday asked McIntosh if Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales and MP Fitzgerald Hinds had visited, he said, “No minister and no MP came.”

President of the community council Joel Lee said, “Well, it seems now that they’re showing a little more interest.

“They said to give them two weeks again to organise and for them to come back to speak with the council.”

Lee hopes a definite start date will be given, because the issue has gone on for far too long.

“At this point we’re just hoping they show us some love and let’s get this off the ground.

“I understand it’s a very technical job, but we just want to know when they’re looking to start.”

With the rainy season beginning in June, villagers who live near the canal that separates Phase One and Two will be on heightened alert.

The canal is currently filled with a mixture of debris and sewage, and overflows into nearby residents’ homes.

While the sewer issue has been ongoing, according to residents, for the last five years, in late April on 24th Street, raw sewage was flowing into dozens of homes.

The residents staged a protest on May 2 asking the relevant authorities to deal with the issue.

At the protest, Andrew Joseph said, “I’ve been a resident since 1974. I’ve seen everything, from the building of the Priority Bus Route to now seeing this issue get progressively worse.

“This never used to happen in Phase Four. Now it seems like the back-up of sewage is spreading. Things looking real messy right now.

“We are asking those in authority, WASA – the main problem, we need you all to solve it.”