Sewer leaks distress Embaccadere residents

A gush of sewer waste has been spraying from the ceilings of Housing Development Corporation apartments at Building Three, Lady Hailes Avenue in San Fernando over the past month, causing distress to scores of tenants.

Frustrated residents say the waste has made many of them ill and a few elderly people have moved out of their homes. 

During a tour of the apartments yesterday, the Guardian got a firsthand glimpse of the suffering of the residents.

Cindy Leotaud said she has been urinating in a bucket and emptying it into her toilet because that was more comfortable than sitting on her toilet bowl.

"If I have to make a deposit in the toilet, I have to sit down with an umbrella over my head or a towel to cover me because it is sh*'!) water falling over my head, " Leotaud said.

The floor of her apartment was wet with the wastewater and the apartment smelt slightly of urine. Leotaud said her 74-year-old mother Lenore Cazeau had yo vacate the apartment because she could no longer live in there.

On the second floor Joan Stewart, 76, said her life was miserable because of the sewer leak. She said every hour she has to mop the floor so the waste doesn't flow I to her bedroom.

"You know what it is to get up at 2 am to use the toilet and sewer water is flowing down your back. You have to go and bathe that hour, " she wept. Her daughter Marlene Stewart said they have placed a pot and a bucket on top of a stand to catch the sewer water so that it won't flow through the house.

Breaking down in tears, Marlene said she woke up one night to see her old mother and partially blind sister emptying sewer waste.

"This is not right for us to live like this. We deserve better. We want the HDC to take us out of here. I want my mother on a ground floor away from all this filth, " she cried.

Shaquille Dass said he has been helping his grandmother clean up the mess in her home. Dass showed a sheet which was placed on the floor of the bathroom to sap up the sewer flow.

His grandmother Catherine Titre said has been living in the HDC apartments since its inception. 

"This is the worse I have seen. Every few hours I have to pick up this sheet and wash it and put another on the floor. We living like this for three weeks. I am a diabetic and I have a pinched nerve but I have to do this every day. We are begging the HDC to do the right thing and help us," Titre said.

She said several reports have been made to HDC and promises were made to repair the leaking sewer lines.

She noted that an official at HDC said the sewer lines were run inside the house and not outside as required.

HDC's managing director Brent Lyons could not be reached on his cellular phone. MP for San Fernando West Faris Al Rawi also did not respond to calls. 

- by Radhica De Silva. Photo by Kristian De Silva.


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