Fiery protest over bad roads in Mamoral, on Tuesday 9 November 2021. (Image courtesy RYAN RAMPERSAD)

The residents of Mamoral in Central Trinidad staged a fiery demonstration on Tuesday morning, demanding better roads. The residents came out as early as 5 am and started burning tyres until police arrived on the scene and urged them to desist.

Gabriella Emmanuel, one of the affected residents, said the roads are in a deplorable state and the villagers have had enough. 

Emmanuel said the community had written and sent photos to the office of Foster Cummings, the Member of Parliament for the area. She said the residents were supposed to have a meeting on October 20th, but officials from the MPs office called and cancelled.

The Mamoral resident says the community has been posting photos on Facebook and pleading for assistance, but their cries are falling on deaf ears.

Jason Sorhaindo, 48, a resident of Mamoral for the last two years who relocated from Mt Hope said:

“When it floods, ducks make a pond in the road. It is disgusting!  Taxis refuse to work here and PTSC does not come here on the weekend. If you have to travel out of here, you have to walk for two hours to reach the main road.” 

Councillor for Caparo/Mamoral on the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation (CCTRC), John Lezama, said the roadway is the responsibility of the Ministry of Works and Transport. 

According to Councillor Lezama, the CTTRC is starved for funds and is unable to do any repairs or to assist residents.

“I have a bridge in Gransul in Mamoral to fix for $81,0000 and we have not received any releases from Central Government. The CTTRC is responsible for side roads, but we have no money to fix anything. I intend to repair some roads if we get materials in the next month, to do some patching. I have spoken with MP Foster Cummings to tour the area, and nothing has materialized yet,” he said. 

“I have written to the Minister of Works, the Honourable Rohan Sinanan, who has never acknowledged receipt of the letter and never replied. The Honourable Rohan Sinanan is aware of the problems in this community. Last year before the local government elections and the general elections, they opened two bridges and failed to fix the road.  If rain continues falling at the rate it is right now, more landslides will occur and parts of the community will get cut off,” the Caparo/Mamoral councillor added.

Councillor Lezama said he would make inquiries into the absence of PTSC services on the weekend.

“It is dangerous for residents to walk out of Mamoral to the Caparo Valley Brasso Road to get transport because like in all communities there is crime,” he noted.  “People are coming from the outside and committing crime in many small rural communities.”