SHARLENE RAMPERSAD and SHASTRI BOODAN
One week after Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte vowed that the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) was doing all it could to ensure citizens have a pipe-borne supply of water, reports of pouring in of dry taps and dirty water.
In Calcutta, Freeport, Kayleigh Mohammed told Guardian Media about two weeks ago, residents started getting discoloured water in their taps.
She said the issue is ongoing and every day her hopes that clean, clear water will be found flowing from the taps, are dashed.
“Every day when it comes, it is like that, it went since yesterday morning and came today around 10 am,” Mohammed said.
She said whenever the water does come clear, it is often at very low pressure, making it impossible to fill tanks for storage.
“Most of the time, the only thing it is good for is flushing toilets. It has been very hard trying to cope with this and prepare for COVID at the same time.”
In Quarry Village, Siparia, residents say they have had no water for the past 16 days.
A resident, who asked not to be identified, said this issue is not new and numerous reports have been made to WASA and the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC) over the years without any response.
“The situation persists, 16 days ago we got pipe-borne water for two days, since then we have gotten no water, we are struggling to stretch the storage supply we have in tanks,” the resident said.
Asked if they request truck borne supplies, the resident replied, “The last request made some time ago and we got no response from WASA. So we have stopped begging.”
Last week, Le Hunte said WASA was moving around its supply to ensure that all citizens can get the pipe-borne supply that they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the authority’s water production had been ramped up and it’s truck borne supply was also increased.
Several questions were sent to Le Hunte via WhatsApp yesterday afternoon for comment but we received no response.
Meanwhile, residents in Central Trinidad said they have no choice but to use dirty well water to wash their hands and drink. Guardian Media visited the community of Kernahan Trace, Chin Chin Road, Cunupia where villagers said they have been without pipe borne water for the past three years.
They rely on an erratic supply of truck-borne water from WASA while some parts of the community get a supply for a few hours during one day of the week.
Residents said they were being forced to spend $1,200 for a tank of water from a private transport contractor especially during the dry season.
Sixty-six-year-old pensioner Annmarie Dasiley said she had no choice but to fetch a pail of water from a well at the bottom of the hill.
Councillor for the Las Lomas/San Rafael area Balmattie Gosyne, on the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation, said Brazil Village and Parts of Las Lomas are also experiencing water woes.