Villagers of Guaico Tamana Main Road say they now have no choice but to seek the intervention of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in the hope that he can get some action to repair the Guaico Tamana Road which is in a deplorable condition.
They are also hoping that the PM can assist in getting landslips along the roadway repaired.
The villagers complain that they have reached out to the Ministries of Works, and Agriculture, as well as Councillors and their Member of Parliament, to get assistance but they have had no success.
Mala Borris, who identified herself as the spokesperson for the 400 villagers told Guardian Media that the road condition and landslides are badly affecting them and are fearful of being marooned.
When Guardian Media visited the area we saw over three miles of potholes, badly damaged roads and numerous landslides covered with overgrown grass.
Borris said this is extremely dangerous for visitors using the Guaico Tamana Road, especially at night and who may not be aware of the road conditions.
She said the latest landslide occurred in December 2021 and although a backhoe came and removed the debris from the road no one has come back since then to do any work. As a result, the villagers were forced to do some makeshift work clearing the falling dirt as best as they could so that vehicles could pass.
Boris accused the Ministry of Works of failing to maintain the road, which she said lacked proper drainage and as a result when the rain falls, the water settles on the road.
She said the Ministry of Agriculture also has to share some of the responsibility for the deplorable state of the road as trucks and trailers traverse the road regularly to transport teak logs from the government forest at Guaico Tamana.
She said they fear that someday villagers will be marooned and it is only then that the relevant agencies will act.
“We are all taxpayers and there is no reason why we should not be treated equally for services we pay for,” Borris said.
Yolande Lee Fond, another villager and community worker showed Guardian Media letters that were sent to the Ministers of Works and Agriculture, the Councillor and Member of Parliament for the area. But she said nothing had been done to repair the roads.
Lee Fond said senior citizens were afraid to use the Guaico Tamana Road to get to the Health Centre, grocery or gas station and their friends and family refuse to visit them because of the deplorable road condition.
Certain that the Prime Minister is unaware of the problems they face Lee Fond said “I have already dispatched a letter to the Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and President of the Republic of T&T Paula-Mae Weekes and is confident we will get positive responses.”
She said online classes have been a blessing since children who previously used the roads to get to school would have to skip, jump over the potholes or walk in the bushes on the side of the road.
Guardian Media reached out to Works Minister Rohan Sinanan, for a response to the villagers’ concerns.
He said, “The Tamana road is 8km long linking Talparo Road to Cumuto Main Road. The road is classified as a rural road and facilitates access to Tamana village. The village has a population of a couple hundred people. In 2020, contracted spot patching was done through the St George East District along the roadway and in-house patching is conducted periodically. Additional contracted spot patching work will be undertaken this fiscal year. The road has deteriorated significantly mainly between the 4km mark and the 7km mark. There is a landslip at the 6.5km mark which affects a portion of the road carriageway. This slope will be protected with a view to undertaking repair in the next fiscal year. There are five other small landslips in the embankment and road edge which will also be protected in the interim.”