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After blockades, protest, help coming to Lengua Road

Trinidad Express / HELP IS on its way for the community living along the Lengua Road.

The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) has stepped in to help Lengua resident Khamraz Ali and his family.

And Councillor for the area Haniff Salamat also said Ministry of Works officials visited the community yesterday to assess the situation.

On Monday residents of Lengua Road, Indian Walk blocked the roads and burned debris in protest of the poor road and infrastructural conditions in their community.

With the heavy rainfall last year resulting in a number of communities being affected by flooding, several landslides occurred further destabilising the roadway at Lengua.

This was made worst with a ruptured Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) pipeline.

Ali, 58, said his home was slowing collapsing and there were cracks throughout the house because of the landslide.

He said HDC officials visited his collapsing home.

He said: “they (HDCO officials) came and took some photos and that was it. They didn’t say anything about how soon or when or what type of help we can get. But we are hopeful that something can be done soon and for whatever help we can get we are grateful for it.”

Another resident, Andy Gomez said the community are “left in the dark” about the State’s objectives on the community.

Gomez said he is hoping that something will be done soon to help the community.

“This road is used not just by the residents here but by many people. We don’t know what is taking place because no-one is coming and letting us know that they might be working towards helping us. we are left in the dark. I hope that something can be done soon,” said Gomez.

Member of Parliament Dr Lovell Francis pleaded with the protesting resident to have patience since there are things being put into place.

When asked what advice he would give to the protesting constituents, Francis said: progress requires patience.”

Francis said the community is very prone to landslides and confirmed that it was worsened with the rains last year.

He said: “they were worsened after the rains late last year. But the issue in this case, the issue is a large landslide that is almost impassable caused allegedly by a burst WASA main. It was fixed and Ministry of Works did a temporary job on the road, but it did not hold up. And it has affected the homes in the vicinity.”

Francis said he made many request to the Ministry of Works and that the Ministry is “already in the process of looking at it. WASA also ‘floated’ the offending line. So it’s not the case that nothing was being done.”


Despite the protest action on Monday, Francis said works to Sixth Company Circular Road has begun.

Housing Minister Randall Mitchell said HDC officers from its Social and Community Relations department have been dispatched, to conduct interviews and assessments.

In a statement concerning residents at Cedros and Lengua Road, Mitchell said once the assessment is complete, temporary housing is recommended.

Mitchell said: “The Minister of Housing and Urban Development and the HDC is aware of the numerous reports of landslides and associate property loss resulting in some instances of families being rendered homeless. We empathise with these families in their time of distress and loss. I have also been in close contact with the Ministry of Works and Transport.

The HDC has since 7.30 a.m. dispatched officers from its Social and Community Relations department to interview and assess the affected families in the Moruga and Cedros areas. Those interviews and assessments are being conducted at the moment.

Vacant housing units have been identified to house affected families as a temporary solution subject to the results of the assessment, while a longer term solution is identified.”

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