Pinto residents on water shortage: ‘WASA overdoing it’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

If you visit Guanapo, you’ll see water pouring from numerous leaks in the potholed road. Residents say some have been flowing for years.

But communities served by the Guanapo water treatment plant struggle with an inconsistent supply. Areas affected include Guanapo, Maturita and Pinto.

Mt Zion resident Stacy-Ann Gonzales said water comes on Friday and Sunday, but “by 9 am it comes, but by 12 it’s gone.”

Though they are scheduled to receive water three times weekly, that is rarely the case. Residents often have to buy truckborne water. When water comes, Gonzales said, the pressure is often too low and it is discoloured.

Patricia Castillo from Sesame Street, Pinto Road said, “WASA overdoing it, in the sense that it should come Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, but it comes at 6, but by 2 o’clock they take it back.”

She said the supply should be 12 hours, between 6 am and 6 pm, but when WASA cuts it off early, “it doesn’t even have chance to full up the tanks.”

To bathe and flush toilets, residents rely on water stored in barrels.

Castillo, who has lived there for 40-odd years, said, “We used to get water every day. I only in the past few years they start doing this nonsense.”

Carlene Ramkisoon has led residents of her Sesame Street community to seek redress for their water woes. Since July 10, she has been in regular contact with Shaira Ali, operations manager at WASA.

Ramkisson said Ali promised to investigate and address their concerns, but is yet to do so.

She said the community is seeking fair compensation.

“When it is our scheduled days, a lot of the times it had rainfall or the pump has an issue.

“Water is supposed to be shared at least half of the following day, but WASA does not even update the community.”

“If you say we’re on a schedule, live up to the schedule – 6 am to 6pm.”

Newsday spoke to Roxanne Samuel, Mesha Ramlogan and Soogrim at La Retreat Road, Extension in Guanapo, a short way from theMemisa centre.

Soogrim said, “Two months now I suffering for water.” He said a leak in the road higher up had been flowing for about ten years, but it stopped two months ago, as another one began pouring.

Soogrim said he gets water once a week.

He and the others said WASA trucks drive on Guanapo Road every day, the drivers see the leaks and continue with business as usual.

WASA corporate communications and the operations manager could not be reached for comment up until press time.