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Rowley tours oil-hit beaches

By CECILY ASSON Monday, December 30 2013

click on pic to zoom in
Dr Keith Rowley...
Dr Keith Rowley...

PEOPLE’S National Movement and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday briefly met with La Brea residents whose lives in one way or the other have been affected by a major oil spill when he paid a visit to the three hardest hit communities. Rowley was accompanied during the visit to Point Coco Beach, Point Sables Beach and Coffee Beach by La Brea Member of Parliament Fitzgerald Jeffrey who once again issued a call for relocation of some 24 families from the disaster area. Jeffrey told Newsday: “Dr Rowley wanted to see first hand what the situation was like and that’s why he came. He was alarmed and taken aback at what he saw and he too agreed that relocation is necessary.”

Since the oil spill two weeks ago, the fumes in the air have been cause of concern for mostly young children who according to reports have been falling ill and have to regularly seek medical attention.

Some of the affected families have had to abandon their homes in the interest of their own health and safety, reports stated. Speaking further to Newsday, Jeffery said the strong hydrocarbon scent which continues to permeate the air is unacceptable.

He continued: “It is nauseating and I am very fearful for those children with the long-term effect of that hydrocarbon smell in their system.”

Jeffrey said he saw no reason why his constituents can’t be given temporary housing at vacant apartments Housing Development Corporations located in Guapo, La Fortune and Warden Road, in Point Fortin.

“We have three HDC settlement from which we can easily get 24 homes to temporarily house affected resident,” he said. “I have checked them and I know there houses for the residents.”

Jeffrey also believes that residents should be compensated for their losses and most o them depend on the sea for an income. Jeffrey hopes that good sense will prevail and those responsible make all efforts to have residents relocated. Residents, he told Newsday, were happy to meet with Rowley. “They were assured that we will be doing all we can to help them.” Efforts to reach Rowley and Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal for comment yesterday proved futile.

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