Spokesman for the villagers, Kesho Ganpath, speaks with the media at Tullock Street on Tuesday 23 November 2021. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

Engineers from the Ministry of Works and Transport will investigate a crumbling embankment on the southern side of the Caroni River, an assurance from Senator Rohan Sinanan, Minister of Works and Transport.

Speaking with Guardian Media on Wednesday November 24th, Minister Sinanan said the Ministry is in the process of doing remedial work along the Caroni River. 

On Tuesday, residents of Tullock Street, La Paille Village, staged a demonstration calling for immediate repairs to the embankment.

Spokesman for the villagers, Kesho Ganpath, said recent heavy rains had eroded the embankment.  Ganpath said in some areas the embankment is about one foot wide, and that villagers feared more heavy rains would see the structure crumbling and the village flooded out.

Residents of La Paille Village demonstrate on the eroding bank of the Caroni River on Tuesday 23 November 2021. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

Member of Parliament for Chaguanas West, Dinesh Rambally MP, said he had written to Works Minister Rohan Sinanan on the matter. He confirmed that Sinanan had acknowledged receipt of the letter.

MP Rambally said in the Parliament, the Minister had reported that works had begun in the St Helena area of the Caroni River.  The Chaguanas West MP believes the focus should be shifted to La Paille because of the fragile nature of the embankment.

MP Rambally told Guardian Media the erosion has taken off more than 10 feet of the embankment. He said any breach of the bank by high waters would cause massive flooding in the community, with some 1,500 persons being affected and left homeless.

“If it is, we can have some excavation on the eastern side that can be done to straighten the river and the soil from that excavation can be used to strengthen the embankment,” he said.

The Chaguanas West MP noted that in August, the riverbank broke at New Street and caused flooding in the area.

He warned that if the riverbank situation is not addressed quickly: “This will be something akin to [the] Greenvale [flooding crisis] that happened in 2018.”