The damaged equipment at the Bamboo #1, Valsayn pump site yesterday. The facility was damaged by an overnight arson attack.

Rhondor Dowlat-Rostant

Residents in the Bamboo #1, Valsayn area, including business people and farmers, are now fearful of flooding during the next torrential downpour, after an arson attack at the community’s pump site on Sunday night.

The attack and potential flood risk ahead was disclosed by the Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan via a media release yesterday.

The release said according to a preliminary assessment by the Mechanical Services Division of the ministry, damage to the facility was estimated at $300,000-$500,000. The fire has affected the structural integrity of the building, intake lines, electrical pump and fuel lines, the release added.

T&T Fire Service officials confirmed the fire was deliberately set.

After a site visit yesterday, Sinanan declared that “any act of sabotage is grossly irresponsible and unpatriotic.”

He also disclosed that over the last year, the ministry had invested considerably in the upgrade of the facility, which he said plays a critical role in the flood mitigation plan for the area.

“A large percentage of the area, including a significant number of residents, businesses and farmers, are now at risk of flooding due to the irresponsible actions of a few,” Sinanan said.

“The ministry is now forced to take equipment from other sites to supplement this shortfall at Bamboo #1, placing other communities at risk.”

Sinanan assured that a full-scale investigation into this incident will be conducted.

In the interim, the minister said, emergency mobile units will be mobilised to assist with flood mitigation while repair works are being undertaken.

Anyone with information on the arson attack are asked to contact the police at 555, 800 TIPS, 999, the St Joseph Police Station or 482 GARY.