RADHICA DE SILVA
Maggot-infested sewage continues to flow through residents' properties at Mon Repos, causing several pensioners and children to fall sick.
It's been three weeks since the sewage has been running through the yards of three pensioners and along the roadside drain at Smith Street, Mon Repos.
When the Guardian visited the scene, pools of stagnant sewage could be seen near the pensioners' overgrown flower gardens.
Resident Lenora Innis said she has no choice but to stay inside her home as she could not bear the stench.
"I cannot open the window, the smell is overpowering. I cannot come in my yard to take care of my plants," she said.
With maggots crawling all over the yard, Innis said her life has become miserable.
"The sewage water is just backing up. Nothing else is happening even though we complained to HDC about it," she said.
Neighbour Cynthia Humprey said her throat and chest has been burning because of the smell.
With the assistance of her councillor Nigel Couttier, Humphrey placed three sheets of galvanize to walk over the filth to get to her house.
"This is not healthy for me, there's worms coming in. The HDC say they have to get a contractor to deal with this but its been three weeks now we suffering," Humprey said.
She added: "I buy so many things here for this smell, vinegar, disinfectant, Pinesol but it getting worse. I shouldn't be going through this," Humprehy said.
She praised Couttier who has been coming with a volunteer team to clean the yards.
"This is madness, it is an emergency. y and it should be dealt with as a priority," she added. She also said the water and sewage flow could undermine her property if it is not addressed.
Meanwhile, Couttier said Smith Street was not the only place with sewer problems.
"As we speak there is a sewer problem in Bernard Street, Upper Hillside is also affected by sewer but in this area, it is the worst I have seen because it is directly affecting these residents," he said.
He noted that HDC has some old clay lines that need to be replaced soon.
"HDC is aware of it and we are in contact. The last thing I was told was it is going out for tender. The whole of Mon Repos has aged infrastructure. The sewer lines in Mon Repos/ Navet must be replaced," he added.
Efforts to contact Housing Minister Camille Robinson-Regis proved futile as calls and messages left for her went unanswered.