The Fisherfolk in the vicinity of the Godineau River at the Mosquito Creek have been suffering for the past three weeks since the collapse of the WASA Main pipeline which has blocked the flow of boats on their way to the Gulf of Paria. MP for Oropouche West Davendranath Tancoo met with the group this morning and was appraised of their major concerns.
MP Tancoo was appalled to see that the entire steel structure and parts of the WASA main which had fallen into the river three weeks ago, was still there, partially submerged and effectively blocking the passage of vessels which use the river course.
The local Fisherfolk said that they cannot exit the river into the sea to ply their trade because the submerged debris, which includes large pieces of steel and now accumulated stones and gravel, would come into contact with their boat engines and possibly the boat itself, causing substantial damage. One fisherman indicated that he had already suffered damage to his boat’s propeller in this manner.
MP Tancoo has written to Ministers Marvin Gonzales and Rohan Sinanan, calling on them to rectify this situation immediately as the fishermen are now unable to earn a living and provide for their families as a result of the failure of the Ministry of Public Utilities to remove the collapsed infrastructure.
Further, the Ministry of Works has also failed these Fisherfolk as the clearing of these river courses is its responsibility. And of this morning, Tancoo observed an enormous amount of debris and water lilies attached to the collapsed infrastructure, which is adversely affecting the free flow of water along the channel. This is a likely contributory factor to the slow water runoff in Woodland and environs which drain into the Godineau River, and the resultant excessive flooding recently experienced in these areas.
Tancoo is asking both Ministers for urgent intervention and assistance to immediately clear this blockage and remove all debris so as to allow the fishermen to get out to sea and to permit the free flow of water out into the Gulf. This exercise will promptly alleviate the backup of water in many areas along the said river.
Further, Tancoo is calling on these Ministers to compensate the Fisherfolk for their loss of income and damage to their boats they have suffered in the past three weeks and for as long as the Ministries continue to fail to correct their negligence. This matter is urgent as it continues to adversely affect the lives of fishermen and their ability to generate an income to maintain their families and pay their bills. Further delay is not acceptable.