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La Brea MP: Planned protest to highlight disrespect to residents

By Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

THE “disrespect” meted out to residents of La Brea and environs in recent months will be highlighted at a protest planned for tomorrow.

La Brea MP Fitzgerald Jeffrey has agreed to join the march through the streets of La Brea, beginning at Point Do’r Junction from 9 a.m. The protest has been organised by the La Brea Environment Protectors Association and La Brea Development Foundation. 

Jeffrey told the Express on Wednesday that the protest will highlight issues affecting residents of La Brea, including the recent oil spills in the Gulf of Paria, closure of the La Brea library and District Revenue Office and issues at Lake Asphalt at Trinidad and Tobago.

“The residents in the coastal areas have been shabbily treated, no action in terms of evacuation and relocation. There was no compensation to residents and that Corexit 9500 still constitutes a danger to the residents in the area,” he said.

Jeffrey had appealed for residents living in areas impacted by the December 18 oil spill to be relocated. He had also identified vacant housing units in the area.

The thick, black crude washed ashore at Coffee, Station, Carat Shed and Point Sable beaches in La Brea. Residents in the coastal communities were unable to light fires in their homes for months and several people, including young children, were treated at hospital for respiratory problems and rashes on their bodies.

Jeffrey said the residents’ problems worsened when dead fish began washing ashore on the beaches a month ago. 

He said the closure of the library and District Revenue Office caused anxiety among residents.

“And we are still not certain about the situation at Lake Asphalt,” he said.

Residents have expressed concern that there were plans to sell or privatise Lake Asphalt.

The company issued a news release three weeks ago stating that the plant was not being privatised, but instead upgraded. 

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