While some people have experienced the inconvenience of having no water in their taps for several hours, others have endured days, weeks, months and sometimes even years without the basic necessity.
Residents of Church Street in Matura, however, have been waiting and praying for a pipe-borne water supply for more than six decades—65 years to be exact
They are calling on the relevant authorities, the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) in particular, to hear their fervent plea and provide them with a pipe-borne water supply in 2020.
They said after several pleas by residents to WASA, the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation had placed one water tank each in the area, a total of two water tanks to serve over 300 residents, which are insufficient and are refilled every three months when residents complaints.
Residents claimed WASA never serviced the water tank they provided, but that it is the corporation who fills the tanks when they feel like doing so.
They said the only time they received a continuous supply of truck water supply was for the Local Government Elections and appreciated this very much, but after LG elections tanks went dry and no additional supply was provided. The water tanks are there but remain empty.
Church Street residents are thanking God for the rain to fill their barrels and tanks for cooking and drinking.
Joycelyn Superville, community activist and spokesman for the 300-plus residents of the quiet community on the North East coast, approximately 13 miles from the town of Sangre Grande, said for the last 65 years the residents have been pleading with WASA and the corporation to have this necessary commodity come to their community. All they have received are promises, which are yet to be fulfilled. "They are only broken election promises," said Superville.
"Can one imagine that developing communities in Trinidad are still without basic commodities like water that are necessary to live a healthy and happy life. 'Water for All,' the late prime minister Patrick Manning’s vision has failed and people are disappointed," Superville said.
She added that the Oropouche and Hollis Dams in Valencia are close to them and provide a regular supply to communities in Sangre Grande and environs but yet Church Street residents are deprived. In addition, WASA's Water Treatment Plant in Matura is about two miles from Church Street.
"Something must be incorrect or the Government and relevant authorities have no respect or consideration for the people who live in Church Street," she said.
Residents are grateful for the spring that exists on lands of the Superville that they have access to for their daily supply of water for washing, cleaning and bathing.
Superville said children have to get up early on mornings and walk a quarter-mile through bushes with pails, bucket and bottles to get water from the springs. This is repeated on evenings after school since they also shower at the springs. "It's like we gone back in times," irate parents lamented.
One spring is about 20 feet deep and parents are concerned about the danger for their children who can fall in while trying to collect water. "There are no safety measures around this spring well, children and parents are at risk," one resident said.
They said trekking through the bushes to get to the spring is also unsafe. "You will never know when the criminal elements will strike and interfere with our girls and mothers," one resident added.
Superville suggested that in the interim, WASA or the corporation could treat the spring water for residents to use.
Parents said before using the water they boil it, but babies and children sometimes get skin rashes and itching.
Nichole Reece, a mother of seven, felt there was bias in the way water was being supplied as recently Thomas Trace, with just a few houses, received a pipe-borne supply.
"I have a problem when I have to prepare food for seven children for school and getting water from the spring pose hardship."
Mervyn Rochford, a father of nine, appealed for water for the 60 children in the community ranging in ages four months to 14 years. "They are the future of our nation and growing up by having to go to a spring to get water is somewhat primitive in this age. Children should be able to have this basic commodity for their daily lives."
He said all citizens in T&T should be given priority by the Government when it comes to basic necessities.
Residents said they have to pay $100 to fill a 400-gallon tank from a man who uses his truck to supply water. They said this was not fair to them as they are paying taxes just like other people throughout T&T.
Superville said they had several meetings with their councillor Terry Rondon but never saw their MP Glenda Jennings-Smith.
They said they were told it will cost $1.5 million to run the water lines and asked Rondon to speak with Minister of Public Utilities Robert Le Hunte.
Superville is calling on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Le Hunte to give the people of Church Street a pipe-borne water supply for 2020.
Rondon said WASA took measurement to run the pipelines at Church Street four years ago and discovered that residents were squatters and that they need to be regularised by the LSA first.
"This does not mean they will not get a pipe-borne water supply. However, the process has to start all over again as water is life."
He promised to speak with Le Hunte.
Rondon said he was also getting the full support on this matter from his Chairman Anil Juteram. "We are working as a team for the development of the respective communities and its people."