THIRTY-SIX people from 13 families in Laventille are now homeless after arson attacks and one of the reasons for this is a lack of employment, Member of Parliament for Port of Spain South Marlene McDonald said yesterday.
Speaking with the Express at her Piccadilly Street constituency office, McDonald said firebombing attacks in the Clifton Hill area on Monday and Tuesday had not occurred before.
Asked what could be done to stop these attacks, McDonald—who had earlier met with the affected families—said job security was one possible solution.
Her constituents have complained there are no Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) and Community-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) operations in the area, she said.
Residents of Clifton Hill who say they are casualties of war between Beverly Hills and Low Place, Laventille explained that what was needed was a police post in the area and not police patrols.
The residents who spoke with the Express but did not want to be identified said those who were engaged in war could have grown up as a community and even gone to school together.
The residents said they were tired of war, adding that gunmen targeted men in the communities and as a result, many of the women in the area had to raise their children as single parents.
One resident said she has been living in the area for 40 years and the problem only began a few years ago.
She said she prayed daily for peace for herself and her neighbours.
"I'm a praying woman you know," the woman said as she stood in her yard, hiding behind a lemon tree.
The latest victim of the arsonists was Anthony Job and his sister Lisa Job.
Their home was burnt to the ground around 6 p.m. on Tuesday, one day after their aunt's home was burnt when the attackers set her neighbour's house on fire.
On Monday just after 1 p.m. arsonists destroyed the homes of Andy Huggins and Makeda Romain.
Both homes were located on the same compound. Later that day the men torched the homes of Ida Hercules, Antoinette Bibby and Duane Skeete.
The fire also destroyed Jacqueline Job's home around 2 p.m.
McDonald said she will write Minister of the People and Social Development Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh and the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to assist the displaced.