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Rural Dev. Minister discusses San Vicente water supply poisoning

About three weeks ago, Love News first brought to you the story of the San Vicente Village water supply being poisoned with a pesticide. At the time of the discovery, several people from the Toledo Village were falling ill and a suspect was detained. Since then, no arrests have been made. We asked Minister of Rural Development, Oscar Requena about the situation and the work that was put in to quickly restore the vital resource to the community. 

Oscar Requena, Minister of Labour: “It is very unfortunate that such an incident did take place and certainly our Ministry of Rural Transformation acted very swiftly and I must thank also the Ministry of Health particularly the staff of the Punta Gorda Hospital, the health inspector and others who have collaborated so that we were able to go into the community to make an initial assessment to meet with the village leaders and the community and discuss how best we could have addressed that situation. I can say to you that there were various activities involved. You know we had to go in and we had to change the water tanks so we were able to provide new water tanks, two new water tanks to the community very swiftly. We were able to certainly get technical and professional advice from the public health inspector with regards to flushing of the lines and certainly ensuring that the lines were super chlorinated to avoid any further contamination. So all of that has been done. I’m happy to say that the water services has been restored back to the community and certainly their concerns with regards to the individual who is the suspect I have to say is the suspect because at this point I don’t think that the police has concluded their investigation and certainly we’re asking the police to please ensure, which I’m certain they will do, that they’re going to carry out their investigation with due diligence and at the end of the day I’m hoping that someone whosoever it is can be held responsible. We know that the community had concerns with regard to a certain individual because as I understand it this individual seems to have a mental condition. Again the Ministry of Health and the police are collaborating on that process and I’m hoping that if this individual indeed needs help that he can find and that he can be provided the professional help so that we do not have any recurrence of such incident back in our community but I’m happy to say that our ministry worked as always very diligently with San Vicente as we do with every other community across this country to ensure that we can deliver the services to our people.”

Police Commissioner Chester Williams told us on Monday that while the investigation is continuing, it’s a difficult probe to solve because of a lack of evidence to tie anyone to the crime.