The Trinidad Guardian / Fed-up of being neglected for years, residents of Laventille yesterday threatened to stage a major protest if their lingering plights are not addressed by their Laventille West Member of Parliament Fitzgerald Hinds.
The residents vented their concerns at Laventille Road in St Barb’s during a walkabout with the political leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah yesterday.
Abdulah witnessed a number of issues they have been grappling with including deplorable roads, leaking pipelines, land erosion, lack of retaining walls, clogged drains and no bins for garbage disposal.
Abdulah said the MSJ proposed the social economy, where cooperatives can be established by the residents who have skills to do the work themselves, as one of the major complaints from residents was the lack of employment.
Taxi driver Nigel Cox voiced his displeasure at the state of the Laventille Road.
“We have been clamouring for the road…a lot of leaks and a lot of potholes. WASA digging up the road and not restoring it to its pristine condition,” Cox said.
Cox sent a message to the Government that if the road was not repaired for the new school term in September “there will be a massive protest. Hard to say, this it is a threat.”
Cox said the East-West corridor had been neglected by all governments, stating that the new acronym for MP was not Member of Parliament, but “Missing Person,” stating that this was what Hinds had become to them.
“We have been neglected for far too long and we can’t take it anymore.”
He said the PNM has been winning this seat for decades because of the elders’ vote but the youth can bring about change if they go to the polls.
“Let me tell you something…they (PNM) get accustomed giving people scrums. But the youth want the whole loaf of bread now. But after getting scrums for over 40 years it hard to give the whole bread. We don’t want no scrums again,” Cox said.
Carolyn John and Allison Bain, who live in the community, said with the rainy season in full swing they wondered when the drains will be cleared.
John pointed to one drain which not been cleaned in 43 years and claimed it was attributing to landslips.
But in response, Hinds said the issues raised “is not a static matter that can be resolved once and for all,” but was work in progress.
He said the matters raised by the residents can be tackled by Cepep, URP, corporation workers and employees of the Ministry of Works “and still the work is not being done which brings me to the general productivity malaise in this country.”