Trinidad and Tobago
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Landslide danger onroad to Fishing Pond

Letters to the Editor

THE EDITOR: On September 23, a teacher going to the Fishing Pond Presbyterian Primary School fell down. Where? At the landslide on the North Oropouche road to go to Fishing Pond.

My daughter fell there last week also.

How many more people must risk harm there? A fall today, a sprain tomorrow, a fracture or broken limb in the near future? What will it take for someone to crack the accountability whip to get matters expedited there? The makeshift walkway and handrail are shaky and don't inspire much confidence for those traversing that area, especially those advanced in age and those with mobility issues.

Permit me to give some clarity as a resident of the Fishing Pond community.

There are two schools in the affected area, the Gordon Miller Early Childhood Centre and the Fishing Pond Presbyterian Primary School.

There are therefore school administrators, teachers, other members of staff, school feeding programme workers, students and parents having to experience this trauma every day since the start of the school term, with no word as to when it will be over and a normal means of commuting resume.

Is there a timeline for this work to be completed? Is there anyone who can communicate that information to the affected residents?

We were asked by the contractor on site to give them one week. Well, that time has elapsed and there is no telling when we will be getting back a roadway. Is it going to be two weeks, a month? Can't someone, anyone responsible, account to the people of the community? After all, we are taxpayers also, you know. The answers seems to be blowing in the wind.

The residents of the communities of Gordon Miller, (lower) Fishing Pond and Fleming Road (upper Fishing Pond) deserve much better than we are currently receiving.

The schoolchildren also deserve a whole lot better than they are getting, both those who are being educated in the communities and those who have to experience the nightmare of travelling to schools in Sangre Grande and beyond. Students have to take extra lessons. What about their safety when returning home?

The alternative route was already severely stressful before this, with its own multiple landslide issues – and now more traffic on that roadway. Added to that, the place is lonely and you lose cell phone service there. The risk of becoming a robbery victim and/or of some other kind of crime is huge in the off-peak hours. Night is not the best time for anyone to be driving there alone.

There are also three churches beyond the landslide area (Presbyterian, Spiritual Baptist and Roman Catholic), so services are being affected as well.

Workers are also having to treat with the matter of getting to their job sites.

And community businesses also are affected. Goods vehicles, including LPG gas trucks, cannot keep the businesses stocked.

Inconveniences are being experienced across the board and people will never understand this until they live or walk in our shoes across that landslide.


Fishing Pond