A continuous foul smell from the Guaracara river in Marabella has left residents frustrated, and they are calling on the authorities to intervene.
Newsday spoke with several residents who complained about feeling nauseous and expressed health concerns.
They had different theories about the source of the problem. Some believe that a company in the oil and gas industry has been dumping chemical waste in the river. Others believe the culprits might be workers from a company outside the oil and gas industry.
"For the past two weeks, the smell had been constant. The smell is making people feel upset. Last year, the smell was coming and going. When there is sun, the smell is worse than when it is raining, " Nicole Mohammed, of Sixth Street Extension said.
"We are fed up complaining to the authorities over the years. We got used to it, but it has the place smelling stink. It is overbearing. Several children got sick because of this."
A neighbour said health officials recently visited the area for another report. Residents told them about the smell. Residents said since the closure of the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery in 2018, the scent has worsened.
Wendy Brewster of Sixth Street said the scent is decreased whenever it rains. Doctors diagnosed her with chemical-induced pneumonitis.
She said she began having lung problems after a massive oil spill in 2014 when oil had escaped from Petrotrin's now-defunct refinery. Brewster said she took legal action against the company and matter was settled out of court.
"Every day for the past three weeks, we (relatives) have to endure this. I have problems breathing, I am diabetic, my health is further being affected," Brewster said.
She and six other people, including her 14-year-old daughter, live in the house near the river.
"I have reported the offensive smell more than once to the health department at the San Fernando City Corporation. Workers said they forwarded the complaints to the EMA (Environmental Management Authority)," Brewster said.
"I am sick all the time. I constantly use incense and air fresheners trying to mask the stench. It might not be good to be inhaling all that, but I do not have a choice."