Family pleads for sewage cleanup

POSTED: 01/31/12 12:46 PM
A combination shot of the rashes on three year old Tamara Shalland’s body that were caused by the running sewage in her neighborhood.

CAYHILL – A family in Cay Hill is asking the Ministry of Vromi to intervene and stop a neighbor from releasing unabated sewerage water in Ginger Road. They say the situation has become unbearable because after years of complaints, it has now taken the illness of a child for them to take their plight to the media.
Tamara Shalland’s three year old daughter was diagnosed with eczema from birth. However she suffered a major infection over the weekend after coming into contact with sewerage water from the property at Ginger Road # 11. Shalland claims that her daughter went to visit her grandmother two houses away from the property but ended up visiting the neighbors because of another toddler in the vicinity.
“Children will always be children, so my child ventured near the neighbor’s and came into contact with the dirty water. She has highly sensitive skin and I thought it was pox at first but this is worse.”
The child was rushed to the hospital on the French side where the doctor revealed that she had picked up a germ. Hoping for a second opinion Shalland visited the St. Maarten Medical Centre but was told the same thing. Not even a third opinion by a dermatologist on Monday yielded a different result.
“We approached the neighbors many times but she refused to stop. She just allows her raw, untreated sewerage to run and does not care that it harms anyone”
The woman’s mother Cyrine Pemberton said that she has visited the public health department on more than three occasions and was only given empty promises of an inspection soon to come. She even convinced her husband to build a “soak away”, to control the flow of the raw sewerage but it fills quickly.
“Since 1996 this has been going on and I am yet to see the inspectors. I am tired of complaining,” the irate woman said.
Just last week, Deputy Prime Minister Theo Heyliger said that his ministry would be looking at the sewerage problem more closely. He suggested the issuance of fines but said that it may be difficult to catch perpetrators who release raw, untreated sewerage water during the rain on the public roadways.

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