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T&T....The forgotten village of Cumaca

sgtdjones 2021-11-15 03:04:59 

T&T....The forgotten village of Cumaca

Mary Paponette was born and baptised in Arima 78 years ago.

Shortly after her birth, her family moved her to the remote community of Cumaca in Valencia. While the rest of the country embraced the technological changes since 1943, in Mary’s home along the Northern Range, not much has changed.NO water no electricity.She still depends on a kerosene lamp to guide her through the night and all water is collected from spouts connected to her home.Her community has been aptly christened the ‘forgotten Cumaca’ by its residents. There is no electricity and no pipe borne supply of water and large portions of the roads in the community are inaccessible without an all-wheel drive vehicle. Residents said a cost benefit analysis was done in the community when they applied for an electricity supply from T&TEC. However, because the houses are so far away from a regular electricity supply, residents were told it would cost too much to run lines in the community.

Guardian Media visited Mary’s home on Wednesday. The road leading to her home was boxed in by fallen trees that were hastily cut by residents after the roads were blocked. The debris has reduced the roadway to single lane traffic in most places.And while the residents remain hopeful, their struggles continue.Several years ago, Mary and several of her children ‘chipped up’ to purchase a used generator. The roar of the machine is deafening and it is only used for an average of six hours each day. During that time, the family can briefly benefit from some of the comfort that electricity has afforded the rest of the country—including watching television and charging their phones.“It’s a few years now we using generator, we never had live current here,” Mary told us. “We used to use lamp, flambeau, see I have my lamp here? I does use it every night when the generator cut off around 10 (pm).”

Even deeper into Cumaca, another Mary, this one much younger, lives with her three children.Now, her schedule has been reduced to three days a week and she has been forced to send her two younger children, ages 11 and 13, to stay with their father so they can access electricity and an internet connection for online classes.“It’s the hardest thing not to have them with me, because all their lives they have been with me but they can’t get through with their classes here,” Hinds said.Hinds has a small generator at her home but like the older Mary, it’s a luxury that is reserved for only a few hours use every night.She said gas for the generator costs her upwards of $500 a month, a cost she struggles to keep up with.

Father of four Richard Tarncaso has also called Cumaca his home since he was a child.He uses rechargeable batteries to give his four young children, ages eight, five, three and one, a sense of what a ‘normal’ life would be.Once his batteries are charged, Tarncaso can turn on his television and use a lightbulb. But those comforts are fleeting.“We have a TV but they can’t watch it for it long, just a short period of time until the battery dies,” he said. “Since I growing up I know up here to be like this, in this kind of timing we living in, things supposed to be modernised, it will be good if we good some kind of help.”Davis Ecolife’s head electrician Cordell Alleyne made the journey into Cumaca with us. It’s a road he is now familiar with, although he admits to getting lost for ‘hours’ during his first visit.The company has identified approximately 30 homes in Cumaca that need assistance to afford solar power.“A minimum of two kilowatts will be allocated to each home to start with, which will be able to facilitate them with the wifi box, lights, plugs, fridge, television so they will be able to listen to the news and be a part of the new COVID-19 lifestyle, where they have home schooling for the kids,” Alleyne said.

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Over 220 Billion in Oil and Gas revenue gone....

sad sad sad

Halliwell 2021-11-15 09:42:24 

In reply to sgtdjones

Haven’t heard about there since Morgan Job used to reference them every day on his talk show smile