Debris used in the demonstration placed on the side of the road. (Image by VINDRA GOPAUL)
SHASTRI BOODAN

Hours after blocking the streets of Castara, Tobago, to stage a protest demonstration, the disgruntled residents of the small coastal village had their water supplied turned on.

On Monday during the pre-dawn hours, villagers blocked several areas of the Northside Road demanding that the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) give them a regular supply. The community had been without water for a week. Villagers said the lack of water was chasing away the handful of tourists trickling into Castara.

Lively George, a popular villager, said prior to water being locked off for the past week, the village had had an erratic supply.  George said he was asleep when the noise of the demonstration woke him up. He told Guardian Media that WASA is the problem.

“You can’t blame administration, whether is a PNM, a UNC, a DAC, a PDP,” he asserted.  “WASA is playing the fool.” 

George is concerned that the water authority may shut off supplies later in the day to penalise residents for their protest demonstration. He said WASA is yet to show the commitment demonstrated by T&TEC who he said responded almost immediately to return supplies.

“You tell WASA, and they never bother with it,” he said.

Disgruntled villager Lively George speaks with Guardian Media outside his Castara home, on Monday 7 March 2022. (Image by VINDRA GOPAUL)

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine said he was not surprised that the villagers demonstrated.  

Augustine said he contacted WASA who assured him that repairs would be done to the Authority’s Parrot Hall Booster Station, and that supplies would return to normal later on Monday.

The THA Chief Secretary explained the THA does not deliver truck borne water—unlike regional bodies in Trinidad—and WASA undertakes all water trucking operations on the island.

He said he had been appealing to WASA for the past three weeks to have the service restored.