Woodford Square in Port of Spain should be reopened this week. In an interview with Newsday last Friday, mayor Joel Martinez said three more old trees have to be taken down before it can be reopened to the public.
Martinez said, “We had a report from the Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday that there are three more trees to take down, one will take two days and the other two are smaller trees. After the trees are down they will partially open the square.”
The Square was closed after tree branches broke off and Venezuelans, Jairo Fontt, 22, and Yuliannys Pérez, 19, were injured in January, while they sat on a bench under the tree. They were taken to hospital and treated for cuts and swelling to the face, back, legs, neck and hands. They told Newsday they were considering legal action against local authorities if they are not given assistance.
A decision to close Square and remove old trees was made to prevent any re-occurrence by Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharath. He said clean up is also expected to be completed quickly. “We are going to replace 13 trees and we are going to have the recommendation of what kind of trees to plant by the Ministry of Agriculture.”
He said there had also been maintenance work on the washroom facilities at the square and he is encouraging the cleaners to ensure they are operating properly. “We want them to ensure there is water supply, soap and hand towels because with he threat of the corona virus we have to look after our hygiene better and regularly.”
“If we want people to practice proper hygiene we want to encourage them to use public facilities and when they use it and they coming out they can properly wash and dry their hands. I am going to speak with the CEO of the corporation to ensure all the bathrooms in our public conveniences carry the napkin papers and to make sure they have soap. All our public parks should be the same including the office of the City Hall.”