Penal residents clamour for better water supply

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 09:15

Even though the Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Au­thor­i­ty says main­te­nance works at the Ca­roni Wa­ter Treat­ment plant should be com­plet­ed by Tues­day, res­i­dents of Wood­land, Pe­nal, and Debe say its been weeks since they re­ceived pipe-borne wa­ter.

Long be­fore the plant was par­tial­ly closed, res­i­dent Ro­ma Ma­haraj of Tul­sa Trace, Pe­nal, said they have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing wa­ter short­ages.

“Some­times we have to spend $350 to get three tanks of wa­ter. In the past, we have paid up to $700 for wa­ter,” she claimed.

Ma­haraj said the wa­ter pres­sure com­ing in­to the area is very low. Be­fore we used to get wa­ter twice a week, now weeks are pass­ing and we can­not get a sin­gle drop in the lines,” she said.

De­vi­ka Bha­ga­loo, of San Fran­cique, al­so com­plained that she has not re­ceived wa­ter since mid-March.

“This is a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence here. We can­not cook and wash with wa­ter from the rivers be­cause peo­ple dump garbage in the riv­er. It is very hard for us,” Ma­haraj said.

At Ten­ant Trace, Wood­land, dou­bles ven­dor Ram­sook Bar­badeen said his re­serve tanks were run­ning low.

“I have four re­serve tanks. I have been call­ing WASA beg­ging to have a reg­u­lar sup­ply but the wa­ter reach­ing the low­er ar­eas and not on top of the hill where we live,” Ram­sook said. He added that he pays $800 per week to get a 3,000-gal­lon load of wa­ter.

Bar­badeen said his daugh­ter Wendy re­cent­ly had a ba­by and it was dif­fi­cult car­ing for the ba­by with­out wa­ter.

Wendy said, “We can­not wash the ba­by clothes as of­ten as we would like so we can­not func­tion com­fort­ably. Some days we get wa­ter for a cou­ple of hours but its more than two weeks now we have not re­ceived pipe-borne wa­ter.”

In­grid Sookdeo, of Ten­ant Trace, said since their last protest ac­tion, they re­ceived wa­ter on­ly twice in their lines.

Live­stock farmer Ian Ram­lochan said he has been fill­ing wa­ter from the near­by riv­er to feed his 60 goats.

“The wa­ter from the riv­er has bac­te­ria so I fill wa­ter, chlo­ri­nate it in gal­lons and feed the goats,” Ram­lochan said. He called on WASA to re­store re­li­able wa­ter sup­ply in their area.

Mean­while, de­spite the pe­ri­od­ic wa­ter short­ages, hard­ware own­ers re­port­ed no great in­crease in the pur­chase of wa­ter tanks. At Hard­ware Sup­plies in Dun­can Vil­lage, a source said about 25 wa­ter tanks were sell­ing per week. He ex­plained that dur­ing the months of Jan­u­ary and Feb­ru­ary, there was a sharp in­crease in the pur­chas­ing of wa­ter tanks.

“Back then we were sell­ing over 100 tanks per week. Now we are av­er­ag­ing about one truck­load per week, which is about 25 tanks,” he said. At CP’s Plumb­ing, a source said there was no in­crease in peo­ple buy­ing wa­ter tanks, al­though there was a spike in sales in the first two months of the year.

- Radhica De Silva