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Krooman Lagoon Area Residents Under Water

The rains are subsiding and while most of the city was back to normal today, residents in the Antelope Street Extension say they’ll be walking in water for at least three more days. Reporter Vejea Alvarez has the story.

Knee high water that’s what the residents of the Krooman Lagoon area will have to be dealing with for the days ahead. While the persistent rains seem to have slowed down today and most of the water in the city had receded this community that already suffers from flooding says the past few days of nonstop rains have only exacerbated the situation. 

Resident, Antelope Street Extension: “Right now it’s really bad. It is really of track right now. Right now everything is floating back there, all the pallets are floating away, we are stepping in some deep water right now nearly next to our knee. Another night’s rain or another two more day’s rains I don’t think we would be able to come out again.”

While the residents say the rains have been affecting them the truth is that the area is flooded throughout the year and this morning the area representative and Leader of the Opposition Patrick Faber spoke about the long history of problems the Krooman Lagoon area has faced.

Patrick Faber, Opposition Leader: Krooman Lagoon is the area behind the highway behind Mirab and Melisha Hall and all of that area so when you take off between the cemetery and Melisha Hall it takes you on Antelope Street Extension and there is an entire lagoon at the back there that comes out on Fabers Road the other side of the lagoon and up the highway. This is a catchment area for the waters that come down. In fact as we’ve seen the city inundated it has a purpose and people have gone on this lagoon, hundreds of people, to live over the years and you remember when there was a very bad tropical storm one time even NEMO and the BDF had to go and rescue residents from this area. BEL has refused to put in poles, BWSL has refused to put in water. The best the government could have done was to put a stand pipe at the entrance where people go in so that they can have access to water.”

According to Faber he has made efforts to try and relocate the residents but they refuse the leave the area.

Patrick Faber, Opposition Leader: “I have said to people, while I have not done an active campaign to remove them except for the time after that tropical depression where in fact we had found some land in Cotton Tree and we were helping people to relocate and people decided they weren’t going to do that, they were going to stay there and I did not go and say you have to get off but what I said to them is that I cannot support you staying here and so we have to try to find other ways. It is dangerous to live over Krooman Lagoon and also if you’re not going to BEL and BWSL they’re not going to put in the infrastructure then it becomes a problem because what people do then is they have the cobweb of wires and then that creates a problem. I understand the struggle of the people and so I don’t go out and try to remove them but I also point out to people that that’s a situation where people – I don’t even want to say they’re there by choice because many cases people don’t’ have anywhere to live.”

And one of the residents agreed with Faber. She said that they chose to live in the area due to not having to pay rent.

Resident, Antelope Street Extension: “Well I chose to come back here because I want to try to get something to get on my own. I want to get something for my kid, I want to have something so I tried to come and get a piece of land I said well this is a place where I can get a piece of land. I came, I chopped it I tried building my small home and get a little house and that is why I chose to come back here because I want to earn something in my life. I want to get something so I choose to be back here and they say you have to start from scratch so I guess this is the scratch right here but I just want to be in my own thing and not pay any rent but I’m still feeling the burden a little.”

But that rent free living may be costly because according to another resident many of the dilapidated houses leak when it’s raining and waters may be detrimental to their health.

Resident, Antelope Street Extension: “Well it’s only dry weather house that are back there so at the end of the day we have a little leakage and basically we can’t come out. It’s inconvenient to do anything, shop, carry water to drink, anything has to lock off because if you notice when I was coming out just now I nearly fell two times.”