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