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Flood of dirty water bothers residents


Maria Bradshaw

Flood of dirty water bothers residents
Although no rain is falling, Chapman Lane is flooding almost every day. (Picture by Sandy Pitt)

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Last year, residents in Chapman Lane, The City, were singing the Government’s praises when work got under way to rectify the flooding problems they had been experiencing for decades.

However, these days, they are voicing a different tune – one of frustration.

The work, which involved installing a new drainage system to allow water to flow through the canal, has not been completed and the area has been flooding almost daily, even though there is no rainfall.

On Tuesday, several pumps installed by the Drainage Unit were pumping off the water which had flooded the nearby Murphy’s Pasture and created large, dirty pools in different areas throughout the close-knit district.

Angry residents complained about the water, which was mossy, filled with garbage and had an unbearable stench.

Melissa Mason, whose house is next door to the canal, said she and her three children were being affected.

“This work started last year and it was going okay for a while, then all of a sudden the people stopped working. The problem I have is the water and the mosquitoes; it is bad for the children. You don’t know when the water is going to be up, you don’t know when it is going to be down.”

She added that the volcanic dust and dust from the marl were blowing into their homes and making it difficult for them to breathe.

“Out here smells very bad and it affects my breathing, too. When they clean the canal they leave all the garbage at the side and when it dries, it blows straight into my bedroom. I am glad the children going back to school because when they are in classes online, it is very hard for them to work.”

Mason, 40, said two workmen visited the area daily to ensure that the pumps were working.

“When I talk to the gentlemen that work here, they tell you they are not in charge, so they can only do what they are sent to do. If not for them the water would be ridiculous. I would like them to come and finish this job. You can actually see the mosquitoes and the dragon flies come off the water at a certain time,” she lamented.

Another resident, who did not want to give his name, said they were fed up.

“Work seems like it has come to a halt. This is a very long time that we have not seen any work doing in the area. There [were] some contract workers from the area who used to clean the canal and gutters every day but they ain’t get back no contract.”

He said the dirty water had become a big bother.

“This water was here for weeks. Mosquitoes, all kinds of vermin, ringworms, mites and undesirables are in that water. The stench is unbearable and the mosquitoes killing yuh,” he said.

When contacted, Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic, who is also parliamentary representative for The City, said he would check with the Ministry of Transport and Works to find out what was going on with the project. He acknowledged that it should have been concluded before the onset of the hurricane season, which began Tuesday.  (MB)