Princes Town resident without water for 60 days

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

These containers have to be filled daily to satisfy Razeek Mohammed’s household operations. –

Razeek Mohammed of No 7 Hilltop Dive St Croix Road, Princes Town, says he has not had water for approximately 60 days.

For his own comfort, he said, he installed running water to his home, but now he has to resort to using buckets, kegs and other plastic containers to store this precious commodity to satisfy his daily needs.

What is even worse, Mohammed said, is that he suffers with a disability which causes him to blackout without any warning.

His wife, who also suffered a stroke, is unable to assist him in filling or lifting the containers.

“I have pipelines running to my home for more than 36 years, but I am having real water problems. It’s approximately 60 days since I have not received water in my tap, yet I keep getting bills from WASA (Water and Sewerage Authority).

“I am paying little by little for them not to cut my supply, but I can barely afford that because the public assistance I was getting was cut.”

Mohammed says he has two tanks that have now dried up.

He said he asked WASA for water delivery using the company’s WhatsApp service, but he has not received a response.

“WASA told me they would open the line, but because I live on top of a hill, the pressure on the line is not sufficient to send the water up the hill to fill my tanks.”

People on the lower level have received water, he said.

“Many times I have to borrow my brother’s car and drive to Borde Narve, where there is a standpipe, to fill my containers.

“I have been having this problem for years. Sometime around April, I had no water for 55 days and now…I am in the same situation again.

“WASA knows about my problem, my councillor knows about my problem, I just don’t know what to do any more.”

Expressing frustration, Mohammed said, although he has a washing machine, he and his wife had to wash their clothes by hand.

“I can’t tell you when last we used the shower. We have to bathe from buckets. Fill the toilet tank to flush.”

For months, Princes Town MP Barry Padarath and several of his opposition colleagues have been taking Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales to task for what they claim is the suffering of their constituents – mainly in south and central Trinidad– caused by a lack of running water in their homes.

Padarath, the opposition shadow minister for public utilities, says many parts of the country had reached a critical stage as regional corporations were inundated with request for truck-borne water.

He has pointed to the problem being a combination of production and distribution issues, as well as poor management and leadership in the water sector.

He has also advocated against WASA issuing bills to customers not getting a regular supply and says rebates should be given to paying customers that are without supply.

WASA, for its part, has acknowledged challenges in its distribution system to some elevated areas, but noted that it was working on improving in that regard.