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Dry taps in Melajo since December

Monday, June 18, 2018
Melajo resident Arjun Singh attempting to collect water from an almost dry tap in his yard. PICTURE RALPH BANWARIE

Villagers of Melajo, Vega de Oropouche, say they have not had a pipe borne water supply since last December and they want Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte to intervene and bring them relief. Faced with dry taps, the residents have to spend $150 to get a truck borne supply.

Brenda Branch, a mother of two, said she can’t remember the last time she was able to prepare a home cooked meal. With water in short supply, the family has been purchasing fast foods, or meals that don’t require much water for preparation.

“Our children are eating bread in all forms and fashion as it is the easiest meal,” she said.

Villager Arjun Singh said the North Oropouche reservoir is not too far away, so it should not be difficult to get pipe-borne water. He said after pipes in the area went dry about six months ago, complaints were made verbally and in writing to WASA. A team of officials from the utility visited the area and promised to resolve the problem but there has been no improvement in the situation.

“We are still getting WASA bills for payment and worst of all WASA is sending disconnection notices to villagers,” he complained.

Another resident, Chris Clement, said with no water in their taps, it is unreasonable to expect the villagers to “pay for something we are not receiving.”

The water situation is now so severe that some villagers travel about 14 miles to the Matura River to bathe and wash their clothes and cooking utensils. Some water is being provided by the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation, but Chairman Terry Rondon and Councillor Anil Juteram admit that those efforts are not sufficient to meet the demand since they also have to service other areas.

WASA officials said they are aware of the problem and are working to resolve it.



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