ROAD BLOCK PROTEST

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Frustrated residents of Cashew Hill have described as “lame” and “unsatisfactory” the effort by the Ministry of Public Works to address poor drainage and damaged roads which have caused constant flooding and other problems in the area for over a decade.
Apart from the conditions mentioned, they want the authorities to address clogged gutters, unfinished construction of drains, huge potholes that damage vehicles and impede traffic, and mosquito infestation.
Around noon yesterday a team from the ministry went to the area and filled the potholes with white stones, but the residents said this was “a waste of time and resources” as it is a temporary fix that the authorities use “to keep us quiet”.
To protest the conditions, residents blocked Joseph Road, otherwise known as Cashew Hill main road, using rocks, old electronic appliances, wooden crates, tyres, pieces of metal and other objects
The action caused a severe build-up of traffic on Whenner Road as many drivers who usually use Cashew Hill main road were forced to divert there when they came upon the blockade which was put in place in the wee hours.
Residents are demanding that the Ministry of Public Works give priority to fixing the area for the long term.
“We are not satisfied. This is lame. Every couple of months when something happens, they come and throw stones in the road and then we get two days rain and the whole place mash up again. These are not holes, they’re craters and I have to walk in and out of here,” an elderly woman complained.
Another woman from the area said she and her family took a taxi to get home in recent days and the driver refused to go beyond “the ditch” in the roadway as it was too deep for his vehicle to traverse.
“They come and fill up the holes again [yesterday] after the people here complained and this is what they do every time. It is unsatisfactory and we are fed up and we can’t take it no more. We don’t see any sense in using the stones because (the road) will break down again,” the resident complained.
The resident said when she moved to the area 11 years ago, it was in the same condition and Public Works teams “only come around election time”.
She said fixing roads is a necessity and should not to be used as “elections gifts” to garner votes.
The male voices of the community complained that many of them do not have jobs and expressed hope government would call upon them to help with the construction work to improve conditions and access to the area.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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