RADHICA DE SILVA
Fearful of a potential health hazard in their community, residents of Waterlane Street in Princes Town are calling for the immediate termination of a washroom construction project near the Princes Town market.
The washroom is being built by the Princes Town Regional Corporation, on the compound of the Food vendors market, about ten feet away from a resident’s home.
Speaking to Guardian Media, resident Koreen Mohammed said if the project continues, sewage could flow downhill in front of their homes. She said about a decade ago, they faced the same problem and the old public washroom building was abandoned six years ago.
Now that a new washroom is being built, Mohammed said they were concerned that the raw filth will again infiltrate their private property.
“Imagine you drinking your coffee and relaxing in your gallery and there is a foul smell emanating from that washroom. It isn’t nice and it is not right. We are entitled to the enjoyment of our property,” she said.
She explained that they were amazed when they heard the corporation had approved the construction.
Another resident Debbie Hosein-Mohammed said when they heard of the project in September, they alerted the corporation and the Public Health Department.
She said a health inspector visited and advised them that the cesspit was being built too close to their fence.
Hosein-Mohammed said she got a visit from the councillor who said the sewage will be flowing uphill.
“I never knew that water flows uphill. I am concerned about this and we are calling for the immediate stop to this project now,” Hosein-Mohammed said.
Another resident Earl O’Connell said if the washroom was constructed, there will be sewage running down the hill. He said this will affect a nearby pre-school and a church.
“All that effluent will flow downhill and it will collect and it will have a stench in the community,” O’Connell said.
But the chairman of the Princes Town Regional Corporation assured that the project was being done up to standard.
“There will be no sewage flow so the residents have nothing to worry about,” he said. He noted that technical staff, engineers and the chief executive officer had visited the site and had assured that the project was being executed according to best practices.
Roopnarine said a washroom was needed at the food vendors’ market because of the increase in vendors and customers. He noted that it was difficult for vendors to leave their stalls and cross the street to use the existing washroom facilities.