Residents protest at Queens Beach, La Brea. Photo by Innis Francis

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La Brea residents protest for clean-up jobs, demand relocation

By INNIS FRANCIS innis.francis@trinidadexpress.com

LA BREA residents this morning assembled near Point Sable beach,
demanding jobs on the clean up exercise taking place along the coastline as a result of oil and bunker fuel spills between Otaheite and Cedros.

At Queens Beach, residents also gathered with placards, demanding relocation.

The residents said they would block roads leading to the area if
people in authority did not meet with them to discuss their problems.
Villagers claim that most of the people involved in the clean up are living outside of La Brea, and are benefiting from the $50 an hour jobs.

Villagers also said that State-owned Petrotrin, the company overseeing the cleaning of the spills, had "disrespected" the residents by moving through the area in heavy equipment, destroying the infrastructure, and ignoring complaints.

Residents claimed that at least twenty persons had fallen ill, with vomiting, chest pains and nausea, as a result of the scent of hydrocarbon coming from the stained coastline.

Those living near Queens Beach said many o the residents were sick and elderly, and needed to be be relocated permanently.

Acting Prime Minister Errol McLeod on Monday said there was a plan to provide affected residents with temporary housing and employment, but could say when this would be done.
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