Residents in the Lowlands area living within close proximity to the Magdelena Grand Beach and Golf Resort may soon get to breathe a sigh of relief.
This as the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) has promised to enforce the Public Health Ordinance and get a Lowlands property owner to regularly empty water from the site due to its potential to cause mosquito breeding.
Almost one year ago (October 18, 2019), High Court Judge Frank Seepersad questioned why the THA did not do its duty in getting the area, located next to Viola’s Place Apartment Hotel, emptied to prevent a possible outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases in the area.
The judge had visited the area to affect judgment in a case brought by the owners of the guesthouse against the THA and the Office of the Attorney General, seeking compensation for the loss of income allegedly caused by the nearby construction site.
The guest house owners, Joan and Ronald Brathwaite, lost the case against the State.
However, in summing up the situation, Seepersad noted that a construction site filled with water, “was a time-bomb waiting to explode very soon.”
Seepersad said then: “There is a distinct possibility of major dengue or mosquito-borne disease outbreak in this area.”
With the rainy season on against and residents again complaining about the site, Tobago Today reached out to the THA Secretary of Health, Wellness, and Family Development Tracy Davidson-Celestine recently for comment on when the THA would address the matter.
Replying via WhatsApp messages, Davidson-Celestine said: “We must be guided by the court ruling and the Public Health Services Department. Public Health will ensure that the owners comply within a specified timeframe to ensure any overgrowth and ponding is cleared and pumped out, respectively.”
She continued: “We will also monitor maintenance. We must always be mindful of how our actions affect and reflect on our environment, be it physical or emotional. We have freedom, but it comes with the price of responsibility. And not because we operate on private property, we are exempt from responsibility for our neighbourhood.”