Residents complain of Christmas ‘disaster’

Oil spill in South

By Susan Mohammed

This was the term La Brea residents, who have been banned from cooking meals because of a massive oil spill in the area, used to refer to not only their Christmas Day experience yesterday, but also the meal that was provided to residents by Petrotrin.
Residents living in some 28 homes received a meal of fried rice, baked chicken, potato salad, and a fresh salad consisting of lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes.
An oil spill originating from one of State-owned Petrotrin’s offshore facilities began drifting ashore in La Brea last week Wednesday.
Oneca Branker, 29, who lives at Coffee Beach, said that while she was grateful for the food provided, she missed cooking and baking in her kitchen and enjoying a more lavish holiday meal.
“This is Christmas and I should be enjoying macaroni pie, ham and other things. The food is tasting good, but it is not what I wanted to have today. And I don’t think I should have to go by someone to eat a Christmas meal. This is so unfair. Christmas Day is a disaster, the food is a disaster, and the oil spill is a disaster,” said Branker.
Another resident, Afecia Cadette, 24, said: “The meal was not appropriate for Christmas Day, and I did not eat it. I missed the ham and pork, and other nice things. I could not enjoy myself with my family and friends. All I did today was stay home and sleep.”
For resident Anika Goodridge, 21, a mother of two, she spent the day taking care of her two children, aged three and nine months old, who have been experiencing diarrhoea since the oil spill.
“I think they got sick because of the fumes. I also feel sick, my tonsils feel swollen,” said Goodridge. “Today I would have cooked an extra-special meal for my family. Things like macaroni pie, lasagna, ham, and stewed peas. But instead we got this box of food, which seemed to be the quickest thing they could have made.”
The mother said she was told the meals would be stopped tomorrow, but she was concerned for her and her children’s safety if the ban was to be lifted this week. See Pages 7 and 17
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