After another Carnival clean up, the Woodbrook Residents’ Association is calling for a ban on paint during J’Ouvert celebrations.
President of the association Lynette Dolly likened the paint to a weapon, in calling for the ban during an interview on CNC3’s The Morning Brew on Ash Wednesday.
“The bandleaders have stated that they cannot control their members with all the paint. So if you cannot control your members, paint is a weapon, ban paint. This is what we are saying,” said Dolly.
“The police cannot control it. The Port-of-Spain corporation cannot control it. The NCC cannot control it, the bandleaders cannot control it, well ban it. It’s a weapon.”
The damage done to Woodbrook properties during J’Ouvert celebrations came into focus after images of Tragarete Road covered in pink, due to the spread of abir powder, emerged on social media.
Several houses in Woodbrook also had paint stains on their walls, an issue which has been plaguing residents for years.
However, most walls on residential streets appeared mostly clean, including Tragarete Road, when Guardian visited the area, due to a combination of preventative measures, cleaning or an adjusted route which was agreed between bandleaders and the NCC for the 2020 season.
Dolly said, however, some buildings that weren’t on the agreed route were also defaced.
“I’m not too sure that the route worked out too well because Warren Street is not a route and you should see the buildings on Warren Street, St Theresa’s church with all the paint. I mean it is really ridiculous,” she said.
During the Downtown Carnival results press conference, Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez admitted he had placed trust in the bandleaders to regulate their members, but this backfired.
“We met with them at NCC’s office and they gave us the assurance that they were going to curtail, they were going to monitor and they were going to ensure. The thing is they didn’t monitor, they didn’t ensure and they didn’t curtail. We got it full blast again. That tells me that they are highly irresponsible and they didn’t care whether they were disruptive in that regard or they affected people’s private property,” said Martinez. “We gonna have to look at the situation a little bit differently. I have spoken already with the chairman of the parade of bands for NCC this morning and we are gonna have to have some serious meetings as to how we going to manage this process and managing the bands on that particular day.”
Martinez, however, downplayed the idea of banning paint altogether.
“We may not have to ban the paint because we don’t want to discourage them from using it. But we don’t want you to deface property so maybe we may have to impose a fine on the bands,” he said.
The mayor said one possibility may be the implementation of a security bond or fine for the bands which may be attached to their registration.